Nobel Laureate Prof Wole Soyinka has described the new generation of Nigerians as illiterate, noting that the nation is raising a generation that is the first to comment on the internet on issues they are ignorant about.
According to him, the new generation Nigerians are waiting for him to lead a march to Aso Rock instead of getting off their backsides and stop writing rubbish on the internet about things they don’t understand.
Wole Soyinka stated this at the launch of InnoCreativa Youth Hub 2030 and project logo by Creative Youth Community Development Initiative (CYCDI) held at The Civic Centre, Lagos.
According to him, “They are waiting for Wole Soyinka to lead a march to Aso Rock. It is about time to get off your feet and stop writing rubbish on the internet about things you do not understand. I do not know how to describe the new generation beyond a generation of internet trolls.
“Nigerian youths are full of spunk outside, but when they are inside Nigeria, they are full of gas. We are building a generation of illiterates. They are the first to comment on the internet on issues they are ignorant about. When you talk about education, I get texts from the new generation and can’t believe these texts are from the youth.
“When I decided to build my house in the forest, I bought a second-hand diesel generator and asked someone to dig a borehole. I wanted to be self-sufficient. What I want to pass on to you is that I thought of the possibility of being self-reliant. This entails that I can come to cooperatives with others and demand things from the government by any means necessary.”
InnoCreativa Youth Hub 2030 project explores creative and innovative capacities of young people through the development of knowledge and attitudes that are relevant to employability and skills for entrepreneurship, which are primarily targeted at solving one global problem: unemployment.
Speaking at the launch, which also witnessed the conferment of special recognition award of grand patron on Prof Wole Soyinka, the Managing Consultant, CITC Global Consulting Limited, Mr. Tayo Orekoya commended Prof Soyinka for his infallible support for CYCDI, his creative assistance to the development of the Nigerian child, and indeed, the youth in Nigeria over the past decades.
Orekoya, however, expressed worry over the level of poverty globally and particularly in Nigeria, which, he said, is assuming an alarming rate. He recalled that a recent world poverty report indicates that Nigeria has overtaken India to become the poverty capital of the world. “With about 86.9 million Nigerians, almost 45 per cent of our over 200 million population is now living in abject poverty. This sad and unfortunate situation makes the UN Sustainable Development Goals to end extreme poverty by 2030 more challenging to implement. Nonetheless, we are undaunted, for we do not believe that it’s unachievable,” he said.
He assured that as consultative partner to CYCDI, CICTC Global Consulting Ltd shares the belief that everyone was born to influence and create impacts in different spheres of life. He added that the great partnership is with an aim of imperative factor for accelerating influence on communal, national, and global development towards fast-tracking the attainment of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Agenda by the year 2030. To him, the journey did not start today.
Director, United Nations’ Information Centre, (UNIC) Mr. Ronald Kayanja dismissed as unfounded the claim that UN described Nigeria as the capital of poverty, having overtaken India in poverty index. He said United Nations has never said this about Nigeria, noting that if it was true, it hurts but ‘we cannot sit here and agonise about our poverty. We need to work up and do something’.