The Institute of African and Diaspora Studies (IADS) at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), on Thursday said that unemployment was a major reason why more young Nigerians are desperately seeking opportunities abroad.
The Institute’s Head of Research, Dr Ayo Yusuff, told newsmen in Lagos that Nigerian youths were increasingly becoming restless because of unemployment and under-employment.
Yusuff said that Nigeria was blessed with a vibrant youth population that the government had yet to efficiently and effectively harness.
“Nigeria is lucky to have a very vibrant youth population. We have a very high percentage of youths in this country, and this ought to be an advantage for this country.
“’The problem is that our government has not been able to manage this advantage very well.
“We currently have low rate of employment in this country, and wages are not even commensurate with the economic demands of people. So, where our young men and women see their hopes will be raised, they go there.
“They are restless because they have energy that pushes them to be gainfully employed in other countries because we are not tapping their energy,’’ he said.
Yusuff said that vocational education had been neglected in Nigeria, adding that it was imperative for various levels of government to urgently begin to encourage more young Nigerians in vocational studies.
The institute’s head of research said that there was a lot for Nigeria to learn from countries like China where young men and women had taken to different vocations.
“We must understand that the things that we currently buy in Nigeria are made by young Chinese that have taken to different vocations.
“I think that the governments should really begin to look at the possibility of encouraging our youths in vocational studies and employments,’’ he said.