NIGERIAN YOUTH AND NATION-BUILDING
The youths are also worried because of lack of:-
a. Parental-care and proper upbringing - parents must protect the Nigeria child as an obligation; b. Non-availability of suitable sports and recreational facilities. World wide, sporting activities represent a major source of earning and employment among the youths; c. Moral decadence in the society; d. Religious fanaticism; e. Cultism and armed robbery; f. Political manipulation of the youths to achieve political arm and kidnapping; g. Break-down of family values; h.
Indiscipline; i. Neglect of youths with disabilities; j. Lack of youth empowerment and development. Effective youth empowerment programme will reverse the rising incidence of social ills among the youth; k. Lack of access of young women to credit facilities and skill acquisition programme for self-reliance.
These problems must be tackled with all the seriousness deserved for the sake of the country's future. Unfortunately, the 1999 Constitution as amended has not laid enough emphasis on the rights of the Nigerian Youth. Since Nigeria is a nation with fragile peace gripped by religious, ethnic and youth unrest, moral decadence, corruption and loss of ethnic values, the government should consider the youths as one of its target groups a. particularly students in post primary schools; b. Students of tertiary institutions; c. Out of school youth; d. Unemployed and underemployed youths; e. Female adolescent youth; f. Youths in crime and related problem areas; g. Talented and gifted youths.
In conclusion, lack of proper care and the well being of the youths has created in them a sense of hopelessness and powerlessness and make them see limited opportunities for employment, or livelihood. This is also affecting their perceptions of their future and lead them to live for the present, with less thought to preparing for what they see as uncertain future. The majority of the Nigerian Youth is faced with a struggle for sustainable livelihood and sees little hope of finding one. Overcoming the psychological barriers to motivate the youth to get involved and to believe in the importance of their participation is a major task that the government must take into account.
•Senator Kuta is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs.