The Federal Republic of Nigeria is an African country, located in West Africa. It holds the rank of the most populous country in Africa with a population of over 216 million. It is often referred to as the ‘Giant of Africa’ due to its large population and economy. However, the country with the largest economy in Africa ranks very low in the Human Development Index and is one of the most corrupt nations in the world.
Nigeria is regarded as a nation with one of the largest populations of youth in the world. It currently has over 33.6 million (16.8%) citizens regarded as youths. According to the 2019 National Youth Policy, youths in Nigeria are aged between 18 and 29. Nigerian youths, as a result of the massive corruption in the country, are faced by several challenges, such as unemployment, unstable educational system, lack of financing for ventures and businesses, limited technical and vocational skills, limited inclusion in social and political space and many more. These disappointments make Nigerian youths want to leave the country for good.
Nigeria has the largest population of out-of-school youths.
Corruption, being a dominating factor in Nigeria, affects the likelihood of a better future for Nigerian youths in many ways. In 2012, it was estimated that Nigeria lost over $400 billion to corruption since its independence. In 2021, the Giant of Africa ranked 154th in the 180 countries listed in Transparency International’s Corruption Index. Corruption is prevalent in every level of the Nigerian government, including the educational system, and it hinders the good success of young Nigerians.
Currently, Nigeria possesses the largest population of out-of-school learning youths in the world. There are about 10.5 million children, in the country, with lack of education. Education in Nigeria is faced with serious challenges from the nursery level to the tertiary level. Tertiary education in Nigeria is confronted by inadequate financing, deteriorated infrastructure, brain-drain, autonomy, uncomfortable learning atmosphere, inadequate classrooms and teaching aids such as computers, laboratories and libraries, corruption in education, and incessant strike actions.
Nigerian students seek higher education overseas.
Unemployment is also a challenge facing young Nigerians. The latest report of the Labour Force of the National Bureau of Statistics says that unemployment among Nigerian youths is the highest in the country, with 21.72 million young Nigerians unemployed. Asides unemployment, according to leveragedu.com, students from developing countries choose to travel abroad for a higher education because the opportunity offers internationally recognized degrees and a high quality of life. Nigerian youths and students reveal being tired of the rampant violence, corruption, and the high cost of living in Nigeria, their home country, and want to leave the country for good.
In the past few years, there has been an increase in the competition for the recruitment of Nigerian students who seek high-quality education in countries overseas. This is because, compared to their counterparts from other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Nigerian students are able to pay higher tuition fees. Nigeria recorded a rise of 234.7% to 18,580, in terms of visas issued to the UK, in the first nine months of 2021, compared to 5,551 in the same period of 2019, and might expect more in the coming months.
Many young Nigerians show interest in studying abroad.
According to the Nigeria Market Sentiments and Study Motivations 2022 report, the upcoming 2023 elections have contributed to the uncertainty among Nigerian students. A vast majority of respondents (89.87 percent) showed interest in studying abroad, 65% noted that they were looking to get an undergraduate degree abroad, while 34% percent stated that they were open to pursuing postgraduate qualifications. About 90% of the 4,000 respondents in the country, surveyed by researchers – many of them aged 18 to 25 – indicated that they were looking to study abroad. About 58% of them stated that the devaluation of the currency had impacted their study plans.
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