With Nigeria Will Rise Again, Balogun tackles youth unemployment
Worried by the rate of youth unemployment in Nigeria, veteran filmmaker Dr. Ola Balogun has come up with a youth empowerment strategy tagged Nigeria Will Rise Again, with a view to initiating practical actions to arrest the situation at the earliest possible time.
Speaking at a media briefing in Lagos, Balogun warned that those who deliberately refuse to sympathise with the plight of the many millions of unemployed young Nigerians, who are roaming the streets today, do so at their own peril.
“It is in the collective self-interest to act to provide practical solutions to the sorry state of affairs before it is too late. I’m happy to state that two patriotic colleagues, namely Barrister Femi Falana (SAN) and Professor Tunde Adeniran (a former Federal Minister of Education) have kindly agreed to collaborate with me in order to flesh out the basic idea that I envisage.”
Balogun, who plans to reach out to other colleagues in the course of time, is confident that a few others will to plan and implement the envisaged youth empowerment initiative with all possible despatch.
He therefore, appealed to all well-meaning Nigerians to come forward to donate whatever amount of money they can afford towards the establishment of a revolving fund that will be directly administered by a committee of youths.
“By the time we are able to convince well-meaning Nigerians from all over the country to donate sums ranging from N1,000 (one thousand naira) to N100,000 (one hundred thousand naira), we should easily be able to help the youths raise between N5 million (five million naira) to N10 million (ten million naira) within a couple of weeks.”
The filmmaker observed that a nation that is so irresponsible as to abandon its young citizens in the wilderness without food, water, shelter and hope for the future, can be said to be in the process of engaging in a self-destructive exercise of collective suicide.
“It would make more sense to assist these young Nigerians to raise interest-free funding that can serve as a tool for them to become self-employed by forming small cooperatives all over the nation. They can manufacture and market textile and leather products, as well as assemble telephones, computers, tablets, cars, bicycles, motor cycles and other things,” he said.
For Balogun, the idea behind this initiative is to discourage young Nigerians from applying en-mass for non-existent civil service and public sector jobs, adding that an issue of this nature is a matter of urgent national interest.
“It is therefore too serious to be left to government alone to solve. Every patriotic Nigerian citizen has a responsibility to make some contribution towards finding solutions to the crisis into which our nation has been plunged by the current unacceptably high level of youth unemployment.
“We cannot afford to sit idly waiting for government to do something, the more so as most civil servants and political leaders are too much prisoners of conventional and unimaginative thinking to find appropriate solutions to this kind of challenge.”
He noted that only those, who have deliberately chosen to be blind, deaf and dumb, would fail to recognise that if nothing concrete is done very soon to salvage the youths of Nigeria from the ugly consequences of massive levels of unemployment.
“If Nigeria is eventually allowed to crash, there will be no hiding place for any category of Nigerians. It is easy to predict that few will escape the impending catastrophe of large-scale urban riots and lawlessness that will ensue,” he cautioned.
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