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Blackout March: How Nigeria Is Unfair To Young People

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Nigerian youths have never had a more difficult time than March 2022.

Every sector in the country is taking a hit and at this point, it feels like the country is collapsing.

For weeks, electricity has been poor with the power grid collapsing at the slightest provocation like someone is tripping it up.

Then the fuel scarcity is still on, this means that not only can you not find fuel to power your cars, but you cannot also power your generator and of course, public transport is more expensive.

It is hard to imagine in this digital age, there is no access to electricity, a basic tool for life and business. What is worse is that diesel prices are at an all-time high, N800 so businesses cannot even profit maximally.

Aviation fuel is scarce, and airlines threatened to shut down after increasing flight tickets astronomically. At this point, having money cannot save you from the issues facing Nigeria.

Yet, tertiary education continues to languish as the Academic Staff Union keep going on strikes because the government is giving them silent treatment. These strikes prolong the time young people should spend in school – delaying and putting their life on hold.

Amid all these, food and drinks have skyrocketed, a bag of sachet water used to be N70 naira but now it is N250. You could buy yourself a cool beverage for N70 now it is N200 or even N400 for Yoghurt. Cooking gas prices keep increasing and decreasing but never returning to their original price.

The cost of ordinary household items like toothpaste, soap and detergent is also high. Imagine young people who are starting their lives out faced with such grim situations.

What does this mean for the average youth? Depression, stress, fear, and with all these like High blood pressure, mental illness, insomnia, and stress-induced illnesses.

The amount of young people migrating out of Nigeria is high. According to Statista, in 2021, the migration rate stood at -0.29 per 1000 population which means that the number of people leaving is higher than those entering the country. Everyone has multiple friends, acquaintances and co-workers who have left the country in search of a better life.

People are so happy to leave and, in a way, escape from Nigeria, they share the pictures of their departure with glee using captions like ‘Goodbye Nigeria, the evil you have done is enough.’ ‘Welcome to a new dispensation.’

The sad thing is leaving the country can only be the solution to a select few, because how do you tell someone who is underemployed or unemployed to leave the country?

Still, we rise, with young people delving into different non-traditional careers like content creator, digital marketing and tech-related fields that do not require formal training.

During these dark times young people have tried to keep themselves preoccupied with banter online and funny videos but nothing seems to work. The frustration is thick, and the helplessness is everywhere. It is sad that we never got to enjoy the country is our youth and prime.

We hope that if we keep our heads high and continue to forge ahead, a little glimmer of hope will appear and it just might be the aeroplane light as we find solace in another country.

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