Ononye VC/Abeya News
Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), 2019 presidential aspirant on the platform of Young Progressive Party (YPP) and 2023 presidential hopeful on the platform of African Democratic Congress (ADC), Professor Kingsley Moghalu, has warned that the future of Nigerian youths hangs in the balance as they will inherit from the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration a bloated public debt of over N35 trillion, which is still rising.
In a statement to mark the one year anniversary of #EndSARS protests by the youth against pervasive police brutality, Moghalu, who also agonised over the national youth unemployment rate, which he said stood at above 40 percent, expressed sadness, in the statement titled The Future of Nigeria’s Youth: The Promise of a Kingsley Moghalu Presidency, that the bravery of young Nigerians demonstrated in the #EndSARS protests was met with even more brutality.
Noting that nearly 70% of the nation’s population is supposed to be youth or under the country’s most productive age bracket, Moghalu stated: “A year ago, Nigerian youth organised themselves in the peaceful #EndSARS protests to demand freedom from police brutality. Quite sadly, the bravery of the young compatriots was met with even more brutality. Like millions of fellow citizens, and indeed the youth, today, I especially remember those who paid the ultimate price for freedom during the protest. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten or in vain.
“Nigeria’s young men and women face many fundamental challenges. The strength of their numbers (nearly 70% of our population) is supposed to be the country’s most productive asset. But the failure of governance has turned this into a threat, and the #EndSARS movement has witnessed efforts to silence the voices of our young people, physically and on social media including the ‘Twitter ban’.
What Nigeria’s youth stands to inherit from incompetent government is a bloated public debt of over N35 trillion and still rising. The national youth unemployment rate is above 40 percent. Nigeria’s young people are leaving the country in droves (the “japa” phenomenon) in search of greener pastures, including in smaller African countries, which sometimes involves very dangerous trips. I note in particular the difficult conditions facing young people in Northern Nigeria, where economic opportunities are even more stifled, millions of children of school age are out of school (a potential breeding ground for recruitment to terrorism) and a drug pandemic poses a serious social threat. And, despite their dominant number, the youth are grossly under-represented in government.