Nigeria’s young adults' optimistic tech offers edge to outperform parents – Businessday

Eniola Olatunji
June 8, 2023
Erastus Jesutofunmi, a 24-year-old product designer, believes that technology has given him an edge to outperform his parents.
Over two dozen young Nigerians like Jesutofunmi between the ages of (18-25 years) who spoke to BusinessDay believe that they will be more successful than their parents in spite of the  country’s gloomy economy and accelerating inflation.
Jesutofunmi explained that in retrospect he’s doing better than his parents. “Yeah, I’m doing pretty much more than they did. During their time, things were quite limited but now, kids can access different resources easily,” he said.
“Life has been made easy with technology. Hence, giving a 21st-century kid leverage to do better,” he added.
Ganiu Olanitori, a 25-year-old phone seller is highly optimistic he will outperform his parents owing to the technological advantage of his generation.

“I certainly think I’ll do better than my parents financially because of better exposure to the tech that can help me pitch my services better to anyone,” he said.
“Although the economy was quite in their favour, I’m not totally at a loss or disadvantage,” he added.
The perception is in line with a recent survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) titled ‘COVID-19 Impact Monitoring’. The report stated that Nigeria’s youth within the age bracket (18-25 years) are extremely optimistic.
According to the report, 92 percent of the youths in the richest consumption quintile believe that achieving their dream job is likely or very likely and 63 percent of youth in the poorest quintile feel the same.
The report carried out a survey on youths from 1,950 households, providing a deeper understanding of the aspirations, employment, and willingness to be vaccinated in this age cohort.

Being a trader or businessperson is Nigerian youth’s most common dream job. It is the most commercial activity in history, the report finds.
The report said that many young people also aspire to get professional jobs that are split across accountancy, medicine, and engineering.
Also, one-third of the two dozen young adults that participated in BusinessDay’s survey said they will be more successful than their parents owing to their better level of financial literacy.
Read also: Africa’s problems have AI, other tech solutions but investments lag

“I feel I would do better due to exposure and also some financial lessons that I have learned over time both from my parents and the society,” said Taiwo Martins, a 25-year-old insurance underwriter and claim officer.

“Financial exposure in terms of financial management is quite high in society now compared to their time,” she stressed.
“Our ability to attend symposiums, online classes, and take advantage of financial opportunities places us ahead.”
A report by EFInA in 2014 on young Nigerian adults said that 35.6 percent of young adults say that they rely on trading or their own business as their main source of income.
“Yes, I believe I will do better than my parents financially due to the resources at my disposal,” said Leroy Elohorzino, a 22-year-old accountant.
Despite his high optimism, Elohorzino noted that the present economic situation in the country might slow him and other Nigerians within his age bracket from achieving success quickly.

Adanna Obiakor, a pharmacist and hair vendor also agrees that some of the present economic conditions are a disadvantage to youths.
“In my dad’s days, the foreign exchange rate was good, and the dollar to naira value was fair, but now it’s really unstable.
“Even then clearing goods from the port was much cheaper, my dad used to clear his goods for a 60 feet container for N 400-500,000. When I first started I was paying two to three million but now it’s five million,” she said.
Nigeria’s inflation at 22.22 percent in April is far outpacing wage growth, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.
Food prices are up by over 150 percent, and transportation costs have almost doubled respectively year-on-year, according to BusinessDay’s market checks.

The unsettling exchange rate due to the multiple rate windows system has fuelled a black market, trading sharply lower than the spot rate, and having a serious impact on businesses.
Obiakor stated that despite these setbacks is still very optimistic that she’ll do better than her parents.
“Yes, I think I would outdo them because at my age my parents didn’t have as much as I do now and I’d like to think I’m on the right track. When I get to their current age I’ll be better,” she said.

Business Day, established in 2001, is a daily business newspaper based in Lagos. It is the only Nigerian newspaper with a bureau in Accra, Ghana. It has both daily and Sunday titles. It circulates in Nigeria and Ghana
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