ECONOMY:  How to reduce unemployment and eradicate poverty in Nigeria by Adewale Adenrele

Research and reports had shown that extreme poverty statistics have always been controversial. A number of countries and experts disagree with the way it is measured in monetary terms – the World Bank’s $1.90 earnings-per-day benchmark.

But no matter what the arguments might be, at the root of poverty lies the deprivation of people’s access to basic necessities such as food, healthcare and sanitation, education, and assets. And the evidence from many countries in the western world shows that solving these issues generally lifts populations out of extreme poverty.

As global attention turns towards my country, Nigeria, here are ways that concerned stakeholders and policymakers can assist in the efforts to achieve the first of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – to end poverty.

The below are the suggestions which if considered and implemented within a time frame, the result will be dazzling and the life of citizens of Nigeria will be better.

Invest in girls’ education:   Nigeria is home to millions of out-of-school children, around half of whom are girls – and it is hardly coincidental that the country with the world’s highest number of out-of-school children is home to the highest number of people living in extreme poverty.

The most affected highly populated north-west and north-east region and the insurgency have contributed to low school attendance and years of schooling which affects their educational standard, followed by nutrition and child mortality- all issues affect women the most. However, educating girls is proven to have both economic returns and intergenerational impacts. For Nigeria to improve on this front, it must increase its investment in education.

Invest in health and wellbeing: Healthcare is linked to economic growth, and consequently to reducing poverty but lack of health care will increase health challenges which include malaria, tuberculosis, cholera, diarrhea, infant and maternal mortality, all of which have a sweeping impact on productivity. In order to end poverty, we must harness the demographic dividends through investment in health, education, and livelihoods with proper implementation and monitoring.

Economic growth approach, expand economic opportunities, and embrace technology:  Ending poverty in Nigeria is easy if we take it holistically, this entails improving the country’s economic productivity and opportunities for its citizens. This will mean investing in human capital potential and creating jobs for women and young people, increasing financial access and opportunities for these groups in rural communities, and advancing technological innovation, capacity building, research and training. Also, access to microfinance has been proven to reduce poverty.

Basic needs approach:  This encourages broad-based growth which focuses on capital formation as it relates to capital stock and human capital. This formation includes the education, health, and housing needs of labour. Also include the provision of basic needs such as food, shelter, water, sanitation, health care, basic education, transportation, which will upgrade the living standards among not only the poor class but also the youths. This is to ensure growth that focuses on poverty alleviation through the development and empowerment of youths

Rural development approach:  This is an integrated approach to rural development which aims at the provision of basic necessities of life such as food, shelter, safe drinking water, education, health care, youth employment, and income-generating opportunities to the rural dwellers in general and the women and youths in particular.


Poverty Eradication and Alleviation Schemes/ Programmes

Youth Empowerment Scheme:  This scheme will be focusing on capacity and skill acquisition, vocational training and mandatory attachment, productivity improvement, credit delivery, technology development, and enterprise promotion which are pivotal for developing the youth for productivity and entrepreneurship.

Rural Infrastructure Development Scheme: This scheme will motivate and encourage the youths because it is part of basic amenities that they should enjoy; provision of portable and irrigation water, transport (rural and urban), rural energy and power support. This is to encourage the youths into medium and large-scale agricultural practice to boost food production in the country.

Social Welfare Service Scheme: This will be focusing on social and welfare services like primary healthcare services, tourism establishment and maintenance of recreational centers, public awareness facilities, youth and student, hostel development, environment protection facilities like beach cleaning and environs, food security provisions, micro, and macro credit delivery, rural telecommunications facilities, provision of mass transit, and maintenance culture.

Natural Resources Development and Conservation Scheme:  This will be focusing on the harnessing of the agricultural, water, social mineral resources, conservation of land and space (beaches, reclaimed land, etc. particularly for the convenient and effective utilization by small-scale operators and the immediate community.

May Nigeria succeed!!!

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Singer AKON Meets Merck Foundation CEO, Dr. Rasha Kelej to Discuss Programs to Support Africa’s Development

AKON, who is a Senegalese-American singer, songwriter, record producer, and entrepreneur was impressed to know about the work being undertaken by Merck Foundation across the African continent especially the programs that aim to support girls’ education and transform patient care in Africa.

Speaking about her meeting with the global superstar Akon, Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej emphasized, “I personally love his songs. As an African woman, I’m proud of his global achievement and status as an African artist. I am looking forward to future collaboration to further support and build capacity in our beloved continent, Africa”.

Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej has been recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans in the world for 2019, 2020 & 2021. She has also been appointed by The President of The Arab Republic of Egypt as Senator at The Egyptian Senate (2020 – 2025).

During their meeting, the superstar mentioned that he is looking forward to collaborating with Merck Foundation through his Foundation.

Merck Foundation through their ‘More Than A Mother’ campaign has been empowering infertile women through access to information, health, change of mindset, and economic empowerment. More than 20 African First Ladies have been appointed as Ambassadors of “Merck Foundation More than a Mother”.

I am looking forward to future collaboration to further support and build capacity in our beloved continent, Africa

Merck Foundation has also been contributing to the future of hundreds of African girls through their ‘Educating Linda’ Program by supporting the education of many of the high performing girls by providing scholarships and grants that can cover school fees, school uniforms, and other essentials including notebooks, pens, and mathematical instruments, so they can reach their potential and pursue their dreams.

“Empowering women starts with education, to enable them to be healthier, stronger, and independent”, explains Senator, Dr. Rasha.

Moreover, Merck Foundation has been transforming Patient care in Africa. More than 1200 doctors from 44 countries are benefiting from Merck Foundation scholarships in critical and underserved fields such as Oncology, Diabetes, Preventative Cardiovascular Medicine, Endocrinology, Sexual and Reproductive Medicine, Acute Medicine, Respiratory Medicine, Embryology & Fertility specialty, Rheumatology, Clinical Psychiatry, Gastroenterology, Dermatology, Critical Care, Neo-Natal Medicine, Pain Management, Urology, General & Advanced Surgical, Clinical Microbiology & Infectious diseases, Opthalmology, Internal Medicine, Trauma & Orthopedics and many more.

Please watch this video of the meeting:

Edited by Winnie Botha from ‘For Africa’ Media

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DiscussEconomyEducationSpecial Report

OPINION: Youth Perspectives, Education, Unemployment, Economic Opportunities & Justice

Every year hundreds of thousands of youth from different state graduate from Senior Secondary Schools, Trade Schools, Polytechnics, and Universities at different levels into a non-existent labour market. Year after year, more are added and the population of unemployed youth in Nigeria has swollen to an unimaginable level that should cause all right thinking leaders and fathers of Nigeria grave concern. It is an explosive situation and the tell tale signs of approaching both regional and national calamity are mirrored by the following tendencies:

Increasing involvement of post secondary school graduate in fighting introducing new levels of sophistication in planning and execution particularly in youth’s demonstration. Emergence of a deadly set of trouble makers  and assassins who are so bitter against the society to the extent that their object is not just to steal but to destroy and exact their perceived pound of flesh from a society that has abandoned them.

The youth and youngsters of the Nigeria were not born with criminal tendencies in their blood. The Nigeria is known for utmost revere for core cultural and societal values most of which hold brotherly love sacrosanct. However, today these youth have found themselves in an environment where the rich flaunt their wealth with reckless abandon, whereas they (the youth) as perceived, are denied the opportunity and access to acquire such wealth. The average youth of Nigeria today believes those ahead of them have cornered and closed up to the nation’s wealth chiefly derived from nature’s (God given) endowment of their mother land. They now see crime as one sure route to survival and access to acquire wealth.

Now is the time for organ of government entrusted with the affairs of that region to sit up and devise a credible means to tame these monstrous tendencies before it consumes all of them. As stated earlier, the solution can be found in creating as many jobs as possible in a hurry. Creating credible and sustainable youth empowerment programmes in all parts of the country, is the answer. The present ugly situation can be reversed if the Federal Ministry of youth development and leaders of our country get truly committed to job creation. One cannot overemphasis the fact that the survival of thousands of youths is dependent on the quality of education, patriotism, social and political orientation and the value system of its youths who are our future leaders.

My mission therefore, is to guide the present government of Nigeria and assist in providing a solution to the challenges faced by Nigerian youths below:

  • Unemployment
  • Low level of Vocational Skill
  • Financial Hardship
  • Lack of Social Connection
  • Negative Peer Influence.

The focuses on issues such as drug abuse, crime, violence, sexuality and poverty. In addition to these, today’s youth are afflicted by new challenges which include:

  1. An Identity Crisis: Who am I?
  2. Lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem: I am worthless
  3. A sense of hopelessness: Where am I going?
  4. Confusion and ambiguity concerning moral issues: What is right and wrong?
  5. Confusion and ambiguity concerning National economic standards as it affects the Nigeria areas of youth in relation to other regions
  6. The negative impact of the electronic media: Entertainment.

All these have resulted in youth restiveness and eventually in crime. Kidnapping in the area have currently assumed the status of a giant monster. I recognize that Nigerian government have a serious challenge on their hands to ensure that today’s children (tomorrow’s adults) would have a better life and an assured future. They should all work towards this objective and not wait for a crisis to occur and then react, let them be prepared.

Every student in the Nigeria deserves the chance to go to college.

Most Nigerian high school students want to attend college. They recognize that higher education is the most direct path to success in their future careers. College also provides opportunities to explore talents and develop leadership skills they can use to participate more fully in adult life—at home, at work, and in their communities.

Millions of students can’t afford the tuition.

It’s estimated that between 2007 and 2017, nearly 2.2 million students won’t pursue college degrees because their families can’t afford the high costs of higher education.

Low-income students are particularly hard hit.

Only one in 10 low-income students can expect to graduate from college. This is not due to a lack of talent but instead to the high costs of tuition and to the fact that many graduate high school without the skills they need to succeed in college. They also lack guidance on how to choose a school, apply for admission, and fill out financial aid forms.

Thousands of low-income, minority students are highly motivated and ready for college every year. We’re working to help them get there through scholarship programs. We’re also creating programs in lower performing schools designed to help low-income students get ready to enter—and then succeed in—college.

I believe in educating future leaders committed to improving the lives of others.

Youth’s encourage leadership and public service in the Nigeria and abroad. Government of Nigeria most provide ideas for graduate student in fields that benefit local and global communities.




Amb Abdullahi Bindawa DSC ,UN Security Expert ,Nigerian educator, Humanitarian worker and was the most widely recognized young leader in Africa continent.

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