Nigerian Youths more valuable than oil – UN

Obinwannem News Nigerian Youths more valuable than oil - UN

The Resident Representative to the United Nations Development Programme, Mohamed Yahaya, has advised the Nigerian Government to look beyond the country’s mineral resources, and invest in the resources of the young people.

Yahaya appeared on Wednesday at the 14th ǼLEX Annual Lecture (Virtual Edition) tagged, ‘Illiteracy, Migration and Insecurity: Nigeria’s Population Time Bomb.’

He maintained that the economic prosperity of Africa lies in the West African country and the future of Nigeria lies in the numerical strength of its youths and not oil wells.

He noted that an uncontrolled population growth garnished with poverty was a disaster, advised Nigeria to explore its growing youth population and convert it to economic power by increasing investment in the development of industries to create more jobs in the country.

“Nigeria’s potential is not oil but the population of young people. And we have them, but unleashing them is the solution. We need to create the right environment and policies for them to grow.

“Think of Nigeria as a country with all the ingredients for takeoff but not taking off. Nigeria doesn’t need a new ingredient to fly; it has all the ingredients – it has the people, the level of education and a lot of things going for it but it’s not happening for these youths,” Yahaya said.

The Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who was also present at the event, added, the Nigerian economy must grow at the same rate as the country’s population to eradicate youth unemployment and discourage human trafficking and forced labor.

According to Erewa, “Human capital development is the way forward. We should be able to build people, build infrastructure and build capacity, particularly for the young generation of Nigerians. I believe if we do that, we will be able to mitigate the adverse consequences of migration. It is not something the government can run from.”

Nwada Ugochinyere Onyechere reporting, Obinwannem News

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