Cardinal Onaiyekan Advocates for National Conference to Tackle Youth Brain Drain

Abuja, Nigeria - 

The Emeritus Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, has sounded an alarm regarding the growing issue of brain drain among Nigerian youths. In a passionate appeal, he called for a national conference to address this critical matter, which threatens the nation's future.

Cardinal Onaiyekan drew attention to the alarming rate at which young Nigerians are seeking opportunities abroad, leaving behind a significant void in intellectual capital and potential central to the nation's development. His call for urgent action aims to find suitable solutions to retain, harness, and empower young talents within the country's borders.

During a recent address to a distinguished gathering of stakeholders, including policymakers, educators, and community leaders, the renowned spiritual leader stressed the need to prioritize finding comprehensive strategies to address this pressing challenge. He emphasized the importance of investing in the nation's most valuable resource - its youth.

One of the primary factors driving this brain drain phenomenon is the dearth of impactful opportunities in Nigeria, according to Cardinal Onaiyekan. Many young Nigerians who possess exceptional skills, knowledge, and potential find themselves gravitating toward economies that can offer better prospects. However, this talent drain poses a severe threat to the country's long-term growth and stability.

The proposed national conference seeks to bring together experts, professionals, policymakers, and other relevant stakeholders to deliberate and develop actionable measures to reverse this trend. The aim is to create an environment where the aspirations of Nigerian youths can flourish, providing them with the necessary support, infrastructure, and opportunities they need to thrive.

Education will be a pivotal focal point of the conference, with discussions centered around improving educational systems by enhancing curriculum development, quality of teaching, and access to education for all. Additionally, the conference will explore ways to enhance vocational training programs, apprenticeships, and entrepreneurship initiatives to provide alternative pathways for youth empowerment and self-sufficiency.

Furthermore, Cardinal Onaiyekan emphasized the importance of encouraging collaboration between the government, private sector, and civil society in creating an enabling environment for youth development. This cooperative approach would involve establishing mentorship programs, increasing investments in innovation and technology, and promoting job creation through initiatives such as fostering a conducive business climate and supporting startups.

While the road ahead may be challenging, Cardinal Onaiyekan's call to action serves as an urgent wake-up call for Nigeria. It is a clarion reminder that the nation cannot afford to lose its brightest minds and most promising talents. Instead, it must invest in them, providing an environment conducive to their growth, while cultivating a collective effort to overcome obstacles hindering progress.

The proposed national conference, if realized, has the potential to ignite transformative change, reaffirming Nigeria's commitment to nurturing and retaining its youth's immense potential. With concerted efforts, Nigeria can redirect the trajectory of brain drain, heralding a new era of innovation, progress, and prosperity for both the nation and its citizens.

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