NIGERIANS, particularly the youth, are once again heading for the exit door as the economic situation in the country bites harder. During the military era, many Nigerians left the shores of the country in search of greener pastures when the situation at home became unbearable.
Today, it seems we are back to that era, with many youths who couldn’t secure visas to their desired countries opting to travel by foot, first via the desert to Libya, before boarding boats to southern Europe.
The truth is that more Nigerians will continue to migrate if the situation continues to be tough economically. While there is no law preventing people from migrating, it is only when the government makes the country conducive economically for the people that the citizens will stay back to contribute their quotas towards developing their fatherland.
Several years ago, China was in the same situation we found ourselves economically, as many of its citizens migrated in search of better life in the West. Today, China is fast growing, and it is attracting the best talents and companies from all over the world.
We can also turn Nigeria into what China is today in the nearest future, but our government must be serious about this. First, we must eliminate corruption, as this is the biggest stumbling block to our progress. In the past, funds meant for developing the country were diverted into personal accounts, but commendation must go to President Muhammadu Buhari, who has vowed to eliminate corruption in the country.
Secondly, we must start creating businesses for our youths to be gainfully engaged; we can capitalise on our population to resuscitate our moribund businesses, while also establishing new ones. Small businesses are what brought China to the current economic boom it is experiencing, and the government must support Nigerians to also establish businesses.
Most of the big businesses we have across the world today started as small firms, and the governments in these countries provided enabling environments for the businesses to thrive. This is also expected from the Nigerian government to make our businesses to prosper.
Our youths will never stay at home if they are not economically engaged, and it is the responsibility of government to ensure that an enabling environment is provided for them to utilise their God-given energy.
- Cynthia Uloma,