Nigeria, a country of youth without a future?

Nigeria, a country of youth without a future? Let’s change it together.

When we started the ONETRIBE FOUNDATION project, one of our main goals was to support homeless children and support children from very poor families in Nigeria with one goal – to provide these children with food. But while poverty has proven to be a major problem in this country, a more important and far worse problem is education, the lack of which directly causes and multiplies poverty.

People without education find it very difficult to find a job, and it is much more difficult for an uneducated person to get a job, let alone create a job, e.g. small business. That’s why we joined the Zero Hunger program with the Education program as a program to support education and development, the goal of which is to educate not only children, but also youth and young people to find the meaning of their lives, and a certain know-how to realize and support not only themselves, but also their families.

This idea came about thanks to a person with whom I have been in close contact since the beginning of the foundation and who brought me to this idea. Understanding that although you want to get an education, but you don’t know where or how, it was very difficult for me at the beginning, and the information related to it that I learned was shocking for me. Ovovwero, or Dodo´z, became our permanent member, colleague and supporter of the idea of ONETRIBE FOUNDATION not only in his country but also outside Nigeria.

He and basically all his friends are representatives of a generation whose ambitions have been thwarted in the dysfunctional environment of the Nigerian state. Many dreams and no possibility of realization. When I asked what his dream was, he said that he would like to be a construction investor, have an employment contract and work for the state, design an airport and build it.

Nigerians are a very proud nation and despite the inhumane conditions they live in, they are great patriots. Sometimes I don’t understand at all how a person living in such conditions and environment can be proud of the country in which it takes place. Well, they love Nigeria. And they are not indifferent to the future of the country either. The question is, how to learn when they don’t take you to school because they don’t have the capacity? What school to go to if there are no schools? What next? And what if you finish school and have no job?

The numbers are alarming…. just to give you an idea of what we are talking about, almost one in four sub-saharan people live in nigeria, making it the most populous country in africa. It is also the seventh most populous country in the world and is constantly growing. From an estimated 42.5 million people since independence in 1960, Nigeria’s population more than quadrupled to 186,988 million in 2016 (UN), currently estimated at 220 million.

From year to year, the state significantly reduces expenses in the education sector, and this fact only further deepens the already existing problems. As in many other African countries, schools are charged, school uniforms and books are paid for, school fees are paid. Student protests and strikes have rocked Nigerian universities for years and are a sign of a severely underfunded education system at all levels up to and including higher education.

The austerity measures adopted by the Nigerian government in the wake of the multi-year crisis have steadily reduced education budgets. Students at many public schools and universities have seen tuition increases and basic infrastructure deteriorate, including lack of electricity and water. The crisis has also prevented the provision of scholarships to study abroad and curtailed international programs for Nigerian students. Given the above, many students are forced to go abroad for education, and this is of course only possible for a very limited percentage of young people.

This is mainly due to the overwhelming and unmet demand among Nigerians of secondary school and university age. Nigeria’s higher education sector is overwhelmed by strong population growth and a significant influx of young people. Important fact – more than 60 percent of the country’s population is under 24 years old! Which is about 130 million people!!!

The development of the national education sector has failed in recent decades. It is absolutely impossible to provide the resources or places to meet the demand for study. What is a criminal offense of child neglect in our country is a very common phenomenon in Nigeria. Children and young people do not go to school because they do not have any. A significant number of potential primary, secondary and university students are diverted from the system. About two-thirds of applicants who successfully passed the national university entrance exam in 2015 could not enter because there was no place for them and the student capacity was exceeded.

The crisis in this country is running through the entire public sphere, every sector of the economy, increasing unemployment, poverty and a very bad to alarming political situation which has culminated these days in the protests of Nigerians when they have finally expressed their dissatisfaction with the long term and deteriorating situation in the country.

Unfortunately, we are witnessing the brutal suppression of protests by the state police using inhuman repressive measures, such as the use of weapons or even shooting into crowds. A lot of people die a brutal death here every day. The police follow young people, put them in jail, check their cell phones on the street and give them back only if they give them a bribe. Corruption reigns at all levels.

When I sent Dod a package that was of course paid for and not subject to duty (there were ONETRIBE FOUNDATION t-shirts ), he had to pay 70 EUR for the package. When I asked him why he had to pay, he said that he didn’t know, but that if he wanted a package, he had to pay… Many earn the most from poverty. I firmly believe that one day this brutality and corruption will end and Nigeria will become the country its people desire. We are keeping our fingers crossed and we believe that we will be able to implement our education aid project and the closely related clean environment program in this country as soon as possible.

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