The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, yesterday identified the neglect of youths, agriculture, access to education and land policies as the real threats to National development and security in Nigeria.
Speaking at the International Youth, Graduation and Annual Lecture of Katsina of the Vocational Centre in Katsina, Sanusi said Nigeria is facing security challenges as a result of non involvement of youths in the productive sector of the economy.
“The insurgents in the North East and the Niger Delta regions recruit youth who cannot be productive to society because of their ideology or lack of education. Most of those who join in the insurgency are economically disadvantaged. This threat to national security cannot also be overcome unless these issues of ideology and lack of access to quality education are addressed,” the erstwhile governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) stated.
The responses of the youths to their social conditions, Sanusi said in a paper titled: “Youth, Security and National Development in Nigeria,” have adverse effects on the overall national development of Nigeria as well as its national security.
On the concentration of the bulk of the poorest people in Nigeria in the North, the monarch attributed it to low priority given to education at private and community levels in the northern states.
“There are less than 500,000 pupils in public primary schools in Lagos State and almost three million in Kano State with estimated one million roaming the streets as beggars. This means that most parents in Lagos State sponsor their children,” said Sanusi.
He added: “As many people as possible must be given access to education if we are to achieve our human development goals and reduce the security challenges we are facing. One of the easiest ways is to absorb the millions of Quranic School pupils into the formal system.”
The royal father said the Nigerian state on its part needs to invest more in agriculture as the highest employer of labour and as a springboard to move to the manufacturing phase of development that would absorb the teeming youth population.
“There is urgent need to have clear policy towards this direction; we cannot afford half measures of intervention,” the traditional ruler stated.
In his remarks, the Chief Judge of Katsina State and chairman of the event, Justice Musa Danladi Abubakar, noted that the Katsina vocational centre was established by the late M.D. Yusuf, because he foresaw the danger that unemployment may pose to the nation.
He commended the stakeholders in the centre for not only raising the number of skills and trades being acquired at the vocational centre from six to 15 but also giving many of the beneficiaries start-up capital and materials.
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