Disoriented and disorganised unemployed Nigerian youths are fuelling the chaos Nigeria is experiencing under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari, says Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, WTO’s director-general.
Mr Buhari had once described Nigerian youths as lazy.
The WTO boss stated this at a webinar to celebrate the National Diaspora Day on Sunday in Abuja, organised by the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) to commemorate its establishment and its achievements so far.
She pointed out that the focus should be on making things better “wherever we are, be it in the village or the town,” either through creating employment, business, a civil society organisation, or “helping to support what the local government is trying to do.”
“This is what helps to create peace,” said Nigeria’s former finance minister. “I am not saying that is all of it. But the fact remains that there are so many young people who do not have jobs, and the COVID-19 situation had made that worse with the lockdown.
She emphasised that “we should be thinking of what we can do to help” improve Nigeria’s economic situation “because that’s what helps” bring peace.
“If we did not have so many disoriented and disorganised unemployed youths,” she argued, “some of the activities that we see at home that are detrimental towards peace and security might not happen.”
She further said the contributions of Nigerians at home and abroad could positively impact the nation’s economy to bring about peaceful coexistence.
Ms Okonjo-Iweala applauded the diaspora for their huge contributions to the nation’s economy, citing how their remittances had brought about the development of the rural areas and the sustenance of the economy.
”Let me applaud fellow Nigerians in the diaspora because they are contributing so much in many ways. The remittance that the diaspora send home is in millions of dollars which has contributed to sustaining our economy,” she noted.
The WTO director-general added, “It helps people living in the rural areas to get resources to send their children to school, take care of their health, build and run businesses. But we can do more wherever we are in the diaspora, for there’s no place like home.”