The National Youth Policy developed as a result of recent global emphasis on programmes and policies which focus on complete development of young people as well as their active participation in nation building. It is a declaration and commitment to the practical support that Nigeria intends to give to the development of its young men and women.
The NYP Rationale
SITUATION ANALYSIS OF YOUTH IN NIGERIA
Nigeria is currently ranked the 7th most populous country in the world and the fastest growing nation. The youth represent 35.6 percent of the Nigerian population. The implication of this on socio-economic policies and agenda is that the growing population of youth need to acquire high-quality education and skills to contribute to a productive economy. This has resulted in the need to invest in young people.
- Unemployment and underemployment is one of the critical socio-economic problems facing Nigeria. As at 2106, youth unemployment rate stood at 24 percent.
- Unemployment and poverty are quite intertwined. Poverty makes it difficult to invest education and health that would increase productivity.
- Long term unemployment is believed to feed political and ideological unrest and violence which further increases unemployment because of its effects on economic performance, investor confidence and political instability.
- Job creation is a critical tool for economic development.
- A major factor in economic growth is entrepreneurship, hence the need for its development.
- It is a permanent cure for extreme hunger and poverty caused by unemployment.
- It is more than starting a business, it involves identifying opportunities, allocating resources and creating value.
- Entrepreneurship skills: risk-taking, high-achiever, task-focused, future oriented, resourceful, etc.
- The emergence of the boko haram which has resulted in one of the worst humanitarian crisis in Nigeria’s history.
- The United Nations estimated that from 2009 about 15 million people have been affected by the Boko Haram crisis and over 2 million have become Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
- The youth constitute a significant portion of persons affected by the fall out of the Boko Haram activities.
- Youth also constitute the majority of the perpetrators of the violent boko haram activities, inter-communal clashes, restiveness in the Niger-Delta region and clashes between the Fulani Herdsmen and indigenous community members in various parts of Nigeria.
- Youth unemployment and related economic frustration are widely believed to be associated with the rising rate of violence in Nigeria.
- Education is the most important factor contributing to the ability of young people to live a productive and responsible life.
- Provision of educational opportunities for the youth is a fundamental pre-requisite for building a strong, just, equitable, viable and vibrant nation.
- The reality however is that a significant percentage of Nigerian Youths are illiterates and their educational needs remain not catered for.
- Poverty is a major barrier to formal education. This has also widened the gap between male and female literacy rate.
- Youth health challenges in Nigeria are multiple. They however have behavioural roots and are preventable.
- A large number of youths do not have access to hospitals.
- Leading health challenges among Youths in Nigeria: sexual and reproductive health (SRH), mental health, substance use, injury and violence and nutritional problems.
- There is a recent prominence in Youth civic engagement in many parts of the world.
- The exercise of active citizenship is one of the most important activities for a healthy transition to adulthood. (World Bank Development Report 2007)
- YCE leads to reduced risky behaviour, increased academic success and greater civic participation later in life.
- YCE seeks to engage young people in democracy through in-school and out-of-school time (OST) learning opportunities.
- YCE reduces the likelihood of engaging in risky behaviour and violence.
- It has the potential to contribute to personal development of young people, increased welfare, public awareness of the rights of children and young people.
- It can serve as a channel for young people to make valuable contributions to social change efforts in schools and communities across the nation.
- Challenges to political engagement and inclusion includes: poverty, education barriers, and multiple forms of discrimination and limited employment opportunities.
- This has resulted in a low percentage of youths holding political and leadership positions.
- Young people are major actors in today’s democracy and governance as they have taking leading roles in political activities and processes that have led to changes in the governance structure and the deepening of democratic practices in many parts of the world. (Young people are stakeholders in democratic processes and practices).
- There is a need to remove the existing barriers to youth political participation.
Attributes of effective and meaningful youth political participation: consultative, youth-led participation and youth-collaborative participation. (This goes beyond voting or standing for elections).
- 3 percent of the total population have one form of disability or the other. (2006 National Census).
- Almost half a million youths have one form of disability or the other. (2012 National Baseline Youth Survey).
- Migration is a factor which shapes the lives and development of youths at national and global level.
- Factors that contribute to youth migration: worsening economic situation in many low and middle income countries, increase of intra-country wars and political related violence.
- Nigeria-specific factors: economic challenge and rising unemployment.
- Major effect of migration is the phenomenon of “brain drain” ie migration of highly qualified Nigerian professionals.
- There is also internal migration in Nigeria (people leaving their states of birth to reside in another) due to a desire for better economic prospects and social facilities.
- This migration is more often than not a rural to urban migration.
- Other factors that affect internal migration are family reasons, conflict and civil unrest.
Register to be part of the National Youth Policy Implementation Network.
Some National Facts in Numbers
A Nigeria where youths live in a safe and secure environment with equal opportunities to realize their dreams and aspirations irrespective of their backgrounds, and contribute optimally to national development.
To provide stakeholders in youth development an all-inclusive framework that will ensure the realisation of the full potentials of all Nigerian young men and women irrespective of their ethnic, religious, and socio-economic background.
To provide an appropriate framework that protects the fundamental human rights of all youths, promote their optimal development and well-being, and enhance their participation in every sphere of national development processes.