Fellow countrymen, members of the fourth estate of the realm, I feel so inspired to
share my thoughts with us this beautiful morning. The Nigerian project is one that I
and millions of Nigerian youths have embraced: to serve Nigeria with all our might, to defend her unity, and to uphold her honour and glory. Today is another day to say that Nigeria can and will make it. Another day to acknowledge and embrace the opportunities that abound to make Nigeria great again. We have expressed a few thoughts that come to mind, and they are captured below.
1. On the Judiciary
We realize the enormous task and responsibility before the Nigerian Judiciary. A responsibility to state what is wrong or right, just or unjust. This responsibility
permeates ethnic and religious peculiarities; it is a responsibility to uphold the essential fabrics that make up Nigeria. As youths and citizens of this great nation,
we call on the judiciary, particularly the panel of justices at the presidential election petition tribunal (PEPT), to deliver a fair judgement, upholding the provisions of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution as amended.
2. On state and national debt, subsidy removal, resultant effects, and palliatives
We are deeply concerned about the constant increase in the cost of living and its resultant effect on living standards across the nation.
According to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics’ 2022 multidimensional poverty index survey report, 63% of
Nigerians, representing 133 million people, are multidimensionally poor (NBS,
2022). The World Bank’s macro-poverty outlook for Nigeria showed that about 13
million Nigerians (6.1% of the population) will cross the poverty line by 2025.
Recent events following the removal of fuel subsidy and its direct impact on the economy has increased this number, and
we believe the time to act is now.
With our debt-to-GDP ratio projected to hit 37.1% by the 3rd quarter of 2023 (DMO, 2023) and nearing the 40% redline, Nigeria is in a
desperate situation, and desperate measures must be adopted:
i. The government must reduce its propensity to incur loans with unfavourable terms. We are at the point where we must choose to be financially responsible.
In the short term, the government must block economic leakages, especially
in the area of crude oil theft, and be highly responsible for the management of
our mineral resources.
ii. We must invest in production and sustainable youth development. This
government must be intentional in creating an enabling environment for local investments and FDIs to thrive. Nigerian youths need good jobs and a favourable business environment to compete, not handouts and Greek gifts in the form of palliatives.
iii. There is a need for serious intervention in rebranding our security architecture
to build confidence and increase food production in the northern part of
iv. We see the idea of handing out cash and palliatives to state governors as
another way of empowering politicians because there is not admissible
evidence or data to prove that the monies or food items released will get to the
poorest of the poor as intended.
We therefore call on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to ensure that a more transparent digital system that will take advantage of our national data structure, like the National Identification Number (NIN), be improved and used for social interventions to justify the huge funds that went into the development of such platforms.
v. Ensure that a proper census is done before the end of the first quarter of 2024
to enable the government to have accurate data to support policies and programs.
vi. The government must be transparent and maintain an open book in all its
3. On education
While we applaud the House of Representatives for taking up the task of using legislative tools to refine the student loan scheme, we call on the federal government to set up an independent monitoring and evaluation team comprising members from relevant institutions to track performance and ensure that all bureaucratic bottlenecks are eliminated for students who need this facility to access it.
This is not a time for political wild-goose chases. It is not the time to test-run half-
It is time to be intentionally responsible in the management of public institutions in
Nigeria. It is time to recreate and embrace the Nigerian dream.
It is time for democracy to thrive.
It is time for Nigeria to rise!
Ekejiuba Daberechi Kingsley is the President, Progressive Abia Youths