Nigerian politicians were able to come up with a new definition for the word “empowerment”. “Youth empowerment” to Nigerian politicians simply means distributing keke and wheel Barrow among the youths. Not what we know as a process where young people are encouraged to take charge of their lives. Wasting taxpayers money on Tshirts and bags of rice with their faces boldly printed on them.
Our lawmakers receives almost 600million as constituency allowance for the four years in office to commence constituency projects that will better the lives of the poor masses amidst all other allowances he collects. These politicians put off their main responsibility of attracting industries and investments to their constituencies for the creation of employment to rather distribute rice, tricycles, motorcycles, sewing machines, clippers, wheelbarrows, scissors and generator among other things in the name of “Youth Empowerment”.
The scam Nigerian politicians call ” Youth Empowerment” is even more shallow than we thought because it seems every politician often do this “empowerments” for their loyalists, sycophants, bootlickers and praise singers. Even in this so called “empowerment,” you need the necessary “connection” to get your own share. An empowerment that is oblivious of the blinds, the disabled, the orphans, the less privileges, the widows, the aged, unemployed graduates is nothing but a big scam.
I urge Nigerian politicians and CSOs to stop desecrating the word “empowerment”. Every little thing, “we empowered 10,000 youths” and you find out it is just a ploy to get people and take photos to show the world that they are supposedly working.
He buys like 20 wheel barrows, 20 sewing machines, 100 scissors, 4 grinding machines, 10 tricycles, 50 bags of rice, 15 motorcycles and maybe 2 brand new cars. Mind you, there are levels and procedures as to how this tools are shared. The cars and motorcycles are not for the ordinary youths, these are mostly for honorables, community leaders, chiefs, party loyalists, thugs who by the way doesn’t really need them.
The politicians stealing our collective inheritance, giving us a fraction of it in return for an endless life of hardship, ill health & untimely deaths is not EMPOWERMENT. He keeps this money for some times and in the bid to come for second or third time, he use it to buy votes from the same people.
Let’s say for instance, there is an industry or investment in a particular community, the people of the community will benefit hence it will provide jobs and other avenues of revenue generation for them. The investment will equally attract other businesses that will act as means of revenue generation for the people.
Instead of always sharing wheelbarrows and motorcycles, sometimes they should grant soft loans for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and as we know, one of the biggest problems confronting SMEs in Nigeria is paucity of funds for growth and expansion. This will go a very long way in curbing unemployment among youths.
The sad reality is, after all this crooked and dubious dealings, we still accord this politicians lofty heights, offer them best seats in churches, mosques and in social gatherings. We campaign, sing praises for them after traumatizing and denying us of any meaningful and social achievements.
So, until I see visible genuine changes happen in Nigeria, e.g. fixing of power and unemployment, genuine youth empowerment (and not just an avenue for bad leaders to siphon funds); no administration is worth being praised. There have been a lot of misplacing of priorities.
By: Isa Eneye Mubarak