Behind and within the Nigerian lazy youths

The Nigerian society and the government have for long, longed for a productive economy with a decreased ratio of consumption habit.

From time immemorial, agitations for the most populous black nation to develop the mind-set and habit of production or at least, become ‘pro summers’ against the deep seated ‘consumption only’ culture has continued to be fruitless.

Policies have been set to encourage, or possibly whip citizens to the culture of production across different regimes in Nigeria. One could think of the recent border closure saga among others. It is however, imperative to look beyond enacting laws, setting policies or establishing incubation centres to theoretically address issues of underproduction. If the goals of creating an enabling environment for creativity and innovation must be achieved in practice, then creating an operational framework and checking the effectiveness of the incubation centres and policies are as important as enacting them. Otherwise, all efforts will still revolve around creating farms for very few to harvest their own share.

The list of Nigerian youths who have in recent times demonstrated zealous spirit of production and creativity without getting any recognition beyond the social media space is disheartening. Think of Jerry Mallo of BennieAgro- the 25 years old Nigerian who recently manufactured a luxury sport car – Bennie Purrie. In Jos, think of the 11- year-old Nigerian, who is blowing the art world with hyper-realistic portraits, the 12 years old Nigerian that made a new discovery in Mathematics, the Nigerian that invented a pair of goggle that can help surgeons spot cancerous cells in human, just to mention a few.

It is no longer news that Nigeria is becoming the hub of dying talents as the number of unsuccessful talented Nigerians continues to be on the rise. Talent alone cannot make success. Talent is universal, opportunity is not. I was thrilled to see Donald Trump’s comment on a portrait of him by a Nigerian fine artist – A simple act of encouragement that could lighten up a creative spirit for greatness. How many top political office holders in Nigeria would spare a minute to encourage an artist whose parents are not in the elite circle?

Sule Matthew

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