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Despite hardship, poverty, future of Nigerian youths not in Europe, US –Adesina



Former Nigerian Minister of Agriculture and President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, believes the future of Nigerian youths does not lie in Europe, USA or in any advanced country of the world but in Nigeria despite the ongoing economic challenges that has brought hardship and poverty in the land.

Adesina who stated this at the 2023 Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership held in Lagos on Wednesday where he bagged the 2023 Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership Award, said the migration phenomenon known as Japa which has seen skilled and talented Nigerian youths leaving the country in their droves for greener pastures, economic prosperity and job security in Europe, the Americas, Asia and other parts of the world, should be discouraged as it does not develop sustainability and national growth.

Adesina emphasized that Nigeria would grow economically by keeping their best human capital at home and getting additional resource skills elsewhere.

“While one might argue that our growing diaspora is good as they send back billions of dollars, higher than the oil revenue that we have, this is not the way to develop sustainably,” Adesina said.

“Nations that develop do all they can to keep their best human capital at home and additional resource skills elsewhere, with flexible immigration and labour policies.

“We must make Nigeria a viable place for people to stay and not a place to run away from, the same applies to other countries.

“I refuse to believe that the future of Nigeria’s and Africa’s youths lie in Europe, North America, Asia, or anywhere else. I believe that their future must lie in Africa, growing well, robustly, able to create quality jobs and decent earnings for our young people.

“I firmly believe that their future lies right here in Nigeria. There is absolutely no reason in the world how we have a demographic asset that then becomes a global negative externality.

“Let’s take pride in ourselves and let’s make our demographic asset our economic asset globally.”

Adesina also announced that the AfDB has launched a $614m programme to support Nigeria’s digital and creative enterprise to generate 6.3 million jobs and add N6.4bn to the economy, as well as a youth-centric bank to be known as the Youths Entrepreneurship Investment Bank which will cater l specifically for the needs of young people.

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