I don’t watch movies, I find it hard to concentrate. So I owe the following vignette to my good friend Taofeek Akinola. It’s a prologue to what I wish to say.
“ …there is memorable line in that blockbuster film, Gladiator, when the king told his son that he will not anoint him as his successor due to incapacity(laziness). When the son got upset, the king took ownership and said:
“Your failure as a son is my failure as a Father”
At the Common- wealth Business Forum in the UK recently, our President, Muhammadu Buhari, digressing for the main thrust of his response to a question, said more than 60% of our population is below 30, a lot of them haven’t been to school and they are claiming that Nigeria is an oil producing country, therefore, they should sit and do nothing and get housing, healthcare and education free.
For emphasis let’s break this down into units:
-60% of the population is below 30
-a lot of them haven’t been to school
– they are claiming that Nigeria is an oil producing country
– therefore, they should sit down and do nothing
– And get housing, healthcare and education free

60% of the population is below 30
Bloomberg markets, an internet publication, confirms this but says it puts a severe strain on our slowing economy with declining revenues to provide health facilities and sufficient schools. This is all perfectly understandable and if this is all the President head said there would be no cause for hysteria.

A lot of them haven’t been to school
The Nation Newspaper of the 22nd of March 2018 reported that Bill Gates came to Nigeria and speaking to the expanded National Economic Council meeting chaired by the Vice President Osibanjo in Abuja , he said Nigeria has unmatched economic potential but must invest in health, education and the human capital. Please note the key phrases. On the 13 of November 2017, in the Vanguard, the President had said the state of education is in bad shape and an estimated 13.2 million kids are out of school, which suffer from infrastructural deficit (they are insufficient) and decay, unqualified teachers and inadequate teaching materials, the result of decades of neglect.

They are claiming that Nigeria is an oil producing country
The Vanguard of the 13th November 2017 analyzing data compiled by CBN, reported that In the 17 years between 1999 to 2016, Nigeria earned and squandered N77 trillion Naira. A sizeable number of the owners of oil licenses are former military colleagues of our President who contrive with all governments to obtain these licenses for onward sell or management with the oil majors who really need them.
Therefore, they should sit down and do nothing
So why do youths sit down and do nothing? And if they cannot go to school can’t they work?
The Brookings institute, the Africa in Focus publication, of 23rd September 2014, points to deficient school curricula and poor teacher training which is worse in rural areas, a lack of vibrant industries to absorb even competent graduates, infrastructural deficit and the debilitating structural adjustment program implemented in the 1980s which led to the closure of many industries and from which the country is yet to fully recover, aggravated by flawed and inconsistent public policies on employment. In the nutshell, opportunities for work are few and education for work is deficient.

Written by:

Mr. Ositheame Agiode, A lawyer based in Lagos, Nigeria.