Youth, Politics, Entrepreneurship and Wealth Creation in Nigeria: The Priority of a New Narrative

Thursday, 19 July 2018
Distributed Paper
David IMHONOPI, Covenant University, Nigeria
Ugochukwu URIM, Department of Business Management, Covenant University, Nigeria
Friday IGBADUMHE, Department of Business Management, Covenant University, Nigeria
The political system in Nigeria has remained iron-gated manned by mean and supercilious political ironsides whose goal in governance is to perpetuate personal and clannish interests, objectives and motivations. The masses are treated as expendables needed to foster the political ambitions of these strongmen and are considered as cannon fodder only required to further and feather their access to power, private accumulation of national resources and state capture. Within this political disillusionment is a youth bulge full of existential dread because of the scarcity of opportunities or elite colonisation of the inadequate opportunities that the system allocates to them. These youths are largely unemployed or underemployed. They seem only useful to the political managers and party machineries during electioneering campaigns or as soldiers in their private armies. Sometimes, their utility is tethered to the services they render as political claques organised to cheer their political lords during state functions or as demonstrators hired to revolt against any attempt to stain the credentials of their principals. The entrepreneurial environment that could have weaned some of these youths off idleness and crime is challenged. Thus, Nigerian youths have become the new denizens or citizens without benefits who are treated as undeserving of equitable state intervention. Poor healthcare facilities, expensive private education or low-standard public education, a degenerative infrastructure, spotty power supply and insecure environment, among others, precipitate a frightening dystopia, pushing these youths to the criminal economy or a violent modus vivendi. Weaving a new narrative has become a priority to safeguard the Nigerian state from coming apart at the seams. Drawing on the Social Conflict Theory, authors have attempted to peruse the study of youths in Nigeria and how they are situated within the political framework, entrepreneurial environment and wealth creation opportunities in Nigeria.