By Maxwell Menkiti Ngene

Public Forum



In recent years, the pursuit of wealth has become an all-consuming obsession for many Nigerian youths. The desire for material possessions, status and power has led some to adopt a “by-any-means-necessary” approach, often compromising their values and integrity in the process. However, it’s essential to recognize that this relentless pursuit of wealth can come at a great cost, not only to individuals and their families but also to society as a whole.

The “wealth-at-all-costs” syndrome has led to an astronomical rise in fraudulent activities, gang-related crimes, cultism, corruption and exploitation among young people. Many have lost sight of the importance of hard work, dedication, and innovation, instead opting for shortcuts and quick fix measures. This mentality has also contributed to the erosion of traditional values such as honesty, respect and community service.

Moreover, the constant pressure to keep up with the latest trends in fashion, arrogant consumption patterns and possessions has resulted in unprecedented levels of stress, anxiety and depression among young people. The fear of missing out (FOMO) and the need for social media endorsement and validation have become significant sources of distress, leading some to question their own self-worth and purpose in life.

It’s crucial for Nigerian youths to recognize that true fulfillment and happiness come from a sense of purpose, meaningful contribution, and positive impact, not just through the primitive accumulation of wealth. We must redirect our focus towards meaningful goals and values that promote personal growth, social responsibility, patriotism and community development.

One critical step in this direction is to embrace education and abandon the obsession of driving of tricycles (Keke Napepe), motorcycles and other unskilled business ventures as a means of making quick money or income. Instead, we should encourage young people to acquire enduring skills and training that will empower them for the long haul.

Good formal and informal training, vocational training and entrepreneurship development are essential for success in today’s competitive market.

Related News

By acquiring skills in areas like information and communication technologies, creative industries, healthcare and entrepreneurship, young people will open doors to better job opportunities, higher earning potential and a stronger foundation for starting their own businesses. Let’s shift gears and invest in skill acquisition, innovation and sustainable entrepreneurship. We can create a brighter future for ourselves and our communities.

Some recommended programmes and resources include:

– National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ)

– National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEB)

– Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN)

– Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, and

– Google Developers Training.

Let’s work together to create a more purpose-driven and skilled generation of Nigerian youths.

•Dr. Ngene writes from Lagos

VERIFIED: Nigerians (home & diaspora) can now be paid in US Dollars. Earn up to $17,000 (₦27 million) with premium domains. Click here to start