Next Generation Nigeria: Youth, Opportunity and Governance for the Future
Samson Itodo, Executive Director, Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA)
Chair: Dr Leena Koni Hoffmann, Associate Fellow, Africa Programme, Chatham House
Economic stress and political uncertainty in Nigeria, together with multiple localised violent conflicts and the rise of divisive rhetoric, have reignited debate in the country on how power and resources are shared and managed across the federation of 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja.
Regardless of ethnicity, religion or socio-economic status, some citizens are calling for a comprehensive rethink of Nigeria’s governance architecture, and demanding that a process of ‘restructuring’ takes place. Others argue that improving the current model is crucial before pursuing anything new.
It remains unclear exactly what restructuring would involve, what the consequences could be, and how it could be properly and peacefully implemented. Fractious politics and competing interests risk muddying the waters of the current debate.
In the third of a series of meetings at Chatham House, Samson Itodo discusses the potential of, and challenges facing, Nigeria’s young people, and considers how the availability of opportunities for participation in the formal economy and politics will shape the thinking of the country’s youth on what it means to be a Nigerian and their role in governance.