From ancient’s times, man has always had some basic needs on which his very existence depends such as air, water and food. Early man’s need were limited to those basics. He had to have water for his food, thirst and personal cleanliness, food to sustain him and shelter to keep his warm and safe from any external attack.
Later he added some others areas of need, such as clothing and as he developed the need for cultivation of simple crops to ease his food hunting expeditions, the need for fire and so on.
The changing and ever increasing needs of man are more obvious in our present society than ever before especially towards the youths. What was termed a luxury in one generation may become a need in another and many needs may deserve attention at the same time.
A nation of Nigeria’s size and population, with its escalating rate of development in all arrears of life cannot afford to have only one priority especially towards the youths. I shall endeavor, however, to limit myself to the basics needs of life for the youths which should be or which already are the priorities identified by this nation.
These are: water, food, education, sanitation, health services, good communication and light. It is useful to remember that the needs thus classified are interrelated. For example, a good health services system needs water and light to function effectively. The needs are briefly discussed under separate headings below:
Water: The need of water for man’s existence cannot be over – emphasized. Man uses water for drinking, cooking and cleaning.
This need has been only partially satisfied in the past, and then not without difficulties. Water must be made readily available in all schools and higher institutions of learning.
Food: The plight of youths in such a situation is unenviable especially in our higher institution of learning where students have to combine cooking with reading. Gone are the days of meal tickets when food was made easily available prices. With all these dismal difficulties, it is crucial that the government should consider that the supply of food to all schools and higher institution of learning be made readily available.
Education: It has been rightly said that education is the pivot on which the development of the nation rests. There is a lot that can be said about education as a priority in any society such as Nigeria where more than 50% of the total population can be described as illiterate. Government should leave no stone unturned in educating the youths.
Light: Light as many Nigerians know it especially now that blackouts are prevalent in all parts of the country is still locally made in form of lanterns, candles and other known lights. Electricity which is an important source of light is yet to reach most parts of this country. Youths need maximum illumination in any room or place where they reading to avoid poor eyesight.
COMMUNICATION: Every society should have an effective means of communication. The type of communication is really a hindrance among youths especially when most of their exam results and centre numbers are sent through bad postal system.
ROADS: Another important aid to communication is the provision of good roads. Many messages contained in letters and parcels need to be conveyed by roads. Above all, it is important to note that as proverbs says in the Bible “Righteousness exhaults a nation but sin is a reproach to any people” – perhaps that is the most important priority of all.