Kingsley Moghalu, a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says economic frustration and misery are among the factors driving youths out of Nigeria.
Moghalu said he is running for president in 2023 to build a country they can return to.
The technocrat turned politician recently joined the African Democratic Congress (ADC) to pursue his presidential ambition.
Speaking during a Channels Television programme on Sunday, he said although his children are based abroad, they look forward to coming back to Nigeria.
He said: “My family has always been international by virtue of my career and my kids all want to come home to Nigeria.
“That is why they encourage me in my political career because they feel that if I can win, I can lead the creation of a Nigeria to which they can return.
“Look at young people in this country, everyone wants to go, leave the country because there is so much misery, so much economic frustration.
“And I don’t blame them for leaving. My heart goes out to those young people. I want to lead the creation of a new Nigeria to which they can return.”
Moghalu said he could have joined the All Progressives Congress (APC) or the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2019 — but he realised that neither of the parties can help to actualise his vision for Nigeria.
He said: “I do not believe that the Nigerian political leadership class is sincere or capable of changing this country for the better.
“In 2019, I had the opportunity to join the PDP or the APC but I advised myself to introduce my vision to Nigerians and take a long-term approach to my political career.
“Because I did not feel satisfied just going in to become part of the system that feeds fat on the commonwealth of Nigerians. If I join APC or PDP today, I have gone to take care of myself.
“The vision I have for the people, I do not think these parties are able to accommodate it, I don’t think they are able to execute it.
“So we must build an alternative to them and educate the voters towards that alternative.”
The former CBN deputy governor also advised against division along ethnic lines, adding that he is keen on helping to foster unity in the country.
He added: “This is one of the reasons I am in politics, seeking the presidency. I would love an opportunity to unify our country and demonstrate to all of us that we can be bigger than the sum of our past, that this country’s diversity can be managed for success.”