When you talk about Nigeria, some of the words that come to mind are kidnapping, inflation, banditry, and many more. The youth in Nigeria make up a significant proportion of the population and are often referred to as the “leaders of tomorrow.” They also, of course, have expectations from the government in several areas.
It is known that the country continues to deal with a wide range of issues. While many of these issues, including the nation’s poor infrastructure, its growing debt stock, poverty, unemployment rate, tribal division, insecurity, fuel shortages, and economic decline, are still unresolved, Nigerians have waited interminably for remedies without success.
A graduate of McPherson University, Adeyemo David Tijesunimi expresses the feeling of not knowing what to expect from the incoming administration. He said, “The uncertainty of what to expect from the incoming government really baffles me as a youth, especially at this point where it seems it’s all gliding from top to bottom.
“We always think we’ve reached rock bottom with a particular government in power, only for the next to take us further down the abyss.”
“I expect (with a lot of hope) that the incoming government really changes that narrative.”
He also believes the incoming administration can provide better opportunities for youth, as they have demonstrated their capability with the recent election. One of the most pressing issues facing Nigerian youth is unemployment.
They expect the government to provide more job opportunities and create an enabling environment for entrepreneurship and small businesses.
He said, “They’ve witnessed what the youths can do, and I think the incoming government should give hope and provide better opportunities because, as Africa’s most populous country, we have enough manpower, which has been hampered by the current high level of unemployment.
“I also expect better security, infrastructure, roads, and industries, which can make us more of a producing nation than just consumers and thereby increase our GDP.
“I expect growth, even if it’s slow and steady, and I hope this government can deliver that.”
A demand in view is that the government enables access to affordable, high-quality healthcare. Irrespective of an individual’s socioeconomic background, the government should guarantee that everyone can get medical care.
A 21-year-old Nigerian, Adeleye Abigael Jesudunjoyin, anticipates a system that provides quality education, an environment for learning, adequate medical care, and facilities.
She said, “I’m expecting the next administration to first of all focus on improving the medical equipment and facilities in the schools and hospitals so that medical students are not discouraged from staying and working in Nigeria, even if it’s for a short while after graduation, rather than trying to trap them here with the law they wanted to pass.
“I’m also expecting this government to look into partnering with professors, professionals, and even students to look for ways to diversify our economy for growth so that even if we can’t pay back our loans, we can at least do without borrowing more billions.
“Then education—I’m not sure how it would happen, but I’m expecting this government to do something about ASUU’s incessant strikes. The government should have a discussion with the union, come to an agreement, and honor the agreement so that students are sure their four years will be four years. It’s unfair to delay people like that, especially with the way things are right now.”
A graphic designer in Nigeria, Nathaniel Victor emphasizes the need for the government to support a functioning awareness program and a country with freedom of expression.
He said, “The Nigerian youth’s expectations from the incoming government are primarily focused on creating awareness about programs that could benefit the youth. This program should be able to inform the youth about job offers.
Another expectation should be media freedom. Young Nigerians are deeply concerned about the lack of media freedom. We want the incoming government to ensure that the media can operate freely in discharging its duties.
The media, both mainstream and digital, must be protected by law, and the government must ensure digital rights, internet freedom, and digital sovereignty (the right of an entity to control its digital data) are upheld.
People should enjoy the right to send information without fear of the government. The media organizations should be able to broadcast or give information as it is without manipulation from the government.”
A National Youth Corps member, Mustapha Omorinsola, expresses her concern about the rising cost of transportation and expects the incoming government to tackle it. She said, “Well, I hope for better transportation; commuting to work and other places is so stressful, and the comfortable means are so expensive. It is taking its toll on so many people in Nigeria as people are just trying to live.”
A functioning country seeks to secure a prosperous environment that enables people to grow and realize their full potential. For its citizens, a prosperous country is a source of pride, safety, and opportunity.
The Nigerian youth have several expectations from the government, ranging from employment opportunities to good governance and security. The government must prioritize these expectations to address the challenges facing the youth and create a brighter future for all Nigerians.
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