Development In Nigeria: The Creative Involvement Of The Youth

Source: Ganiu Abisoye Bamgbose, PhD. 

Growth has been explained as increase in the output of anything. It could be physical, economic, social, political and many more. According to experts in economics and related disciplines, growth is different from development. The former is a prerequisite for the latter but does not always guarantee it. Development is any kind of growth which brings about improvement and betterment of lives for .

The main social indicators of development include education, health, employment and unemployment rates and gender equality. The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic composite index of life expectancy, education, and per capita income indicators, which are used to rank countries into four tiers of human development. A country scores a higher HDI when the lifespan is higher, the education level is higher, and the gross national income GNI (PPP) per capita is higher. In terms of the human development index (HDI) of Nigeria, which is the index used by the United Nations to measure the progress of a country, Nigeria was 0.532 points in 2017, leaving it in 157th place in the table of 189 countries published.(Wikipedia). I am not sure the situation is any better now. But for the academic spice, there is no need to support the conclusion that development in Nigeria is a mirage with any premise.

Do we talk about the damage which power has caused to the brains of our leaders as detailed in Farooq Kperogi's recent article? Or the self-interest of many Nigerian employers which make them go on holidays with their families even when their employees are being owed salaries? Ours is a great country where representatives do not live among those they represent. The slogan of many is even ABUJA STRAIGHT! And of course you can go ahead to resign once you're a parliamentarian. What do you want to eat for the rest of your life that your one year salary cannot provide as a Nigerian lawmaker?

The worry, of course, is not about the failed old generation; it is about the clueless new generation with no direction and sense of priority. The old ruling class of this country worked hard that they may have a say in the affairs of their country. Muritala, Obasanjo, Buhari, Babangida all ruled in their late 30's and early 40's. Pat Utomi was made an adviser to Shagari in his 20's. Chinua Achebe wrote Things Fall Apart in his 20's. Soyinka wrote the Lion and the Jewel in his 20's. Francis Egbokhare was made a professor of Linguistics in his 30's. They all took charge in their respective fields and consolidated themselves. Some gone; some alive: posterity is passing its judgement on them all.

What do we say of a generation of young people whose life and living is characterised by frivolities? In a country with high rate of joblessness, young people sponsored a show with no value to be promoted just by the cost of text messages. How do we describe a generation of young people people who do not popularise or postulate things that bring money but things that ask for money: baby shower, bridal shower, pre-wedding shoot, birthday shoot, BB Naija, and many more? Thanks to the few wise who make enterprises out of this dumbness. Sometimes I wonder what this generation would tell their children they listened to as youth: Zanku; legwork, shakushaku, inside life... Thanks to the few who sustain the legacy of the good days when music had meaning.

Everywhere in the world, seriousness, diligence and uprightness are not virtues of the majority. They're the privileges of the few. This article is an eye-opener to those who wish to be at the helm of affairs someday: don't waste your youthful days. Be an exception. Think out of the box. Then, we will meet at the top.

©2019 Ganiu Abisoye Bamgbose (Dr GAB)

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