It is not in our interest to ignore our youths, leaving them with little or no alternatives. A number of them are going into self-employment and entrepreneurship. I think the least we can do for them is make this journey easy for them. They need access to cheap funds, to advise from more experienced entrepreneurs, they need waivers and supportive fiscal structures.


The more I reflect on the matter, the more I am convinced that Nigeria’s success story will hinge on the actions of a few good men/women rather than that of one or two political parties. From all the experiments so far, it is obvious that our political parties will not save Nigeria or take it to the promised land. Rather, we need a few good men and women, who are interested in genuinely making Nigeria great. We need people who rather than politicise everything, would see the need to do right by their country. Perhaps our salvation as a nation may rest with the corporate world – its players and culture? That is a conversation for another day.

At an engagement session with youths a few weeks back, I could not but feel the anguish and pain in the eyes of the young men and women who seemed to be angry with the state of things. Two of them informed me that they were only in Nigeria because they were not successful in getting visas to the West. So, they really were left with no choice but to make the best of what they described as a bad situation. According to both, this makes them even more frustrated.

These youths had many questions that I could not answer. I don’t think anyone could. The questions ranged from “How did we get here?” to “Can Nigeria ever be great again”. These are very difficult questions to answer, especially when you yourself had asked these same questions years earlier. Across the room, I could see desperation, fear, anger, anxiety and uncertainty. I could also see determination and strength. In some I saw nothing but determination: “It doesn’t matter how harsh the conditions are, I am going to make it!”

I do think that we should be sufficiently concerned about our youths and how the state of play is affecting them. From education to employment, we ought to have a plan to engage our youths, create jobs for them, and see them through school and training schemes. There are youths who have the intellectual prowess and ingenuity to solve some of the problems that plague our dear nation. They have ideas but don’t know who to talk to. They want to seek audience with anybody who can help, but they feel that unless one is connected, no one is interested. In other places, youth centres are quite popular. These centres help youths to channel their ideas and thoughts positively and for the benefit of society. These centres also help to connect youths to the right people and organisations. In some climates, there are easily accessible grants for youths who have ideas that could solve societal problems.

…it is not true that Nigerian youths are lazy, rather we can see that our youths are hungry for success; they want to grow; they want to make a difference. They only simply ask for the right conditions and a platform to help them become responsible and useful citizens.


If at all we must list the advantages of social media, we must acknowledge how it has given a different narrative to the Nigerian youth. On the various social media platforms, one cannot but be impressed by the entrepreneurial strength on display by young Nigerians. So it is not true that Nigerian youths are lazy, rather we can see that our youths are hungry for success; they want to grow; they want to make a difference. They only simply ask for the right conditions and a platform to help them become responsible and useful citizens.

More and more, graduating with a First Class degree isn’t enough, especially with the state of our education sector. Organisations are looking for graduates with a bit more. Unfortunately, it is not easy to describe what “a bit more” means.

We have a responsibility to ensure that even if indeed our youth our lazy, they still have options. They must have alternatives to crime and poverty.

I think that our government has an important and, if not, the most important role to play here. As do our corporations and our rich.

We have so many billionaires in Nigeria that it goes without saying that they should have patient capital enough to want to take a chance with our greatest resource – our people.


How I wish that the top guns in the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and all other parties could come together to agree on specific initiatives that would be about Nigeria for which everybody would take the accolades. Is this possible or is it naïve to think this will ever happen?

We have so many billionaires in Nigeria that it goes without saying that they should have patient capital enough to want to take a chance with our greatest resource – our people.

It is not in our interest to ignore our youths, leaving them with little or no alternatives. A number of them are going into self-employment and entrepreneurship. I think the least we can do for them is make this journey easy for them. They need access to cheap funds, to advise from more experienced entrepreneurs, they need waivers and supportive fiscal structures. Even if we do not create jobs for them, we should make it easier for them to create their own jobs and jobs for others.

‘Lande Atere is a lawyer and everyday girl.