The CLEEN Foundation, an NGO, said that the major problems confronting youths in the country were lack of technical education, crime and bad political leadership.
This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a two-day National Conference on Youth Alienation in Nigeria “Breaking the Cycle’’, organised by the CLEEN Foundation in collaboration with the Ford Foundation in Calabar.
The communiqué was signed by the Executive Director, CLEEN Foundation, Mr Innocent Chukwuma.
It noted that poor implementation of legislation that had been passed was also a contributor to alienation of youths.
“Young people have lost their values, they have fallen victim of crass materialism and there are no more idealism in their world today,’’ it said.
It said that a lack of economic opportunities and access to credit were also part of youth estrangement.
“Government should build credit facilities that will provide credit, advice and other financial services for youths,’’ it said.
It noted that corruption had eaten deep into the youths because of bad leadership.
The communique, however, said that reforming academic curriculum in schools was one strategy to address youth alienation in Nigeria.
“A functional curriculum that will give students practical skills is important,’’ it added.
The communiqué also said that education should be diversified, adding that not everybody could go to university, pointing out that skills centres that providing vocational education could help provide work to young people.
It also called on government to improve its implementation of legislation that had already been passed, saying a number of bills that were great on paper had been passed but the implementation was weak.
It urged NGOs to work to train young people in skills acquisition to enable them be better citizens in the future.
The communique stressed the need for NGOs to present a solid agenda of what they wanted government to do to better the lives of young people.
It argued that interactive youth fora when organised would give room for stakeholders to listen to young people and craft a political message that would appeal to them.
It, however, said that business training programme should be put in place to give students real skills in building their own businesses.
Our correspondent reports that the conference was oranised as part of activities lined up to mark Nigeria’s 50th independence anniversary and 50 years of Ford Foundation’s intervention programmes in Governance and Human Rights in Nigeria.