By Oluwatope Lawanson
Olufolake Alabi-Adelakun, an Agriculturist and a Social Development Advocate, has urged the Federal Government, to make conscious efforts towards youth development in the country.
Alabi-Adelakun, a lecturer at the Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, University of Ibadan, made the remarks in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday.
She said that government needed to start recognising Nigerian youths as the future of the nation adding that more attention should be given to them.
The lecturer, who is also the project Director of ‘Future Living Hope Initiative, said that conscious acts and actions should be directed towards youth development.
According to the her, “a society with a mirage youth force is not far from an abyss of serious irreparable damage’.
She therefore, stressed the need for value orientation/re-orientation and character education be specially incorporated in both primary and secondary school syllabus.
She advised that life-coaches be invited periodically to help the youths understand the need to live and act right at all times.
“Government should enact genuine policies that will take care of their welfare and education.
“Their overall development should be sincerely implemented and monitored.
“Also, good values and character must be instilled at an early age,” she said
The Social Advocate, said that Nigerian society had increasingly lost its sense of values due to socialisation problems.
She said that the immense decadence in our society today, such as drug abuse, immorality, vandalism and violence, was a reflection of lack of appropriate socialisation process by the agents of socialisation.
Alabi-Adelakun explained that the society relied on family and religious institution as agents of socialisation that will instruct, guide and direct members to behave in an accepted way.
She therefore called on religious leaders and parents to wake up and take up their appropriate roles in ensuring moral education and guidance.
The lecturer noted that the challenges of Nigerian youths are hydra-headed compared to developed countries, where the government considered youth as their future and they nurture them even from the womb.
“Their government make necessary provisions for them until they are old enough to take care of themselves.
“They are focused in all they do including education and well-ready to occupy leadership position from a younger age.
“Unfortunately, Nigerian youths have not received the type of treatment required to position them as the real future of this nation.
“Nigerian youths are left to figure out things on their own, thereby engaging in all manners of illegal activities to make ends meet.
“Many have dropped out of school due to lack of fund and must make a living by whatever means they can find since government has no way out for them,” she said
Alabi-Adelakun therefore, urged Nigerian Youths to endeavour to prepare themselves to occupy their rightful place.
She advised that they should understand that they are vital to the future development of Nigeria.
“Engaging in damaging habits will prevent them from getting to the place of recognition in the future, now is the time to stop the habits”, she said.
Alabi-Adelakun said that most importantly, the youths should allow the fear of God to direct their affairs so they could live a guilt-free life. (NAN)