NDDC tasks youth on career development
The Commissioner representing Delta State on the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Ogaga Ifowodo, has enjoined youths to inculcate the habit of book reading and develop careers of their dream to ensure active participation in government.
The Commissioner said youths represent the future leaders of the society and greatest investment of in country’s development.
He stated this during the Demas Akpore annual memorial lecture in Ughelli, Delta State.
The late Akpore was a former head teacher (principal) of Government College Ughelli (GCU) and an erstwhile deputy governor of the defunct Bendel State.
Speaking on the topic, ‘What do you dream of becoming and when last did you read a book’, he identified the task before the youth as leaders of tomorrow, saying: “whether or not a society will progress boldly into the future or regress with timidity and shame into the past depends to a very large extent on the youth.”
Ifowodo emphasized that for the youth to become independent of their parents and meet their basic personal and social needs, the education system – formal and informal – must be geared towards their gradual integration into the echelons of leadership in the society with active collaboration of the family, community and government.
He noted that youths are often the vanguard of progressive change, being less hidebound to tradition and outdated mores or values, making their active participation in political life indispensible, particularly in societies steeped in socio-political degeneration.
The NDDC chief recalled the role of the youth in combating racism, colonialism, Nazism, apartheid, chauvinism and other forms of systemic social discrimination in Nigeria.
However, he lamented that today the collapse of ethical values, an overwhelming atmosphere of moral decay, total disappearance of worthy role models, the commercialization and politicization of religion coupled with religious fanaticism, joblessness, violent crime, often fuelled by youths’ recruitment or voluntary joining of secret cults or other gangs has made them unemployable and generally lacking self-discipline.
Ifowodo stated that development starts with the individual and that the mind must first be cultivated before it can yield good fruits of humane ideals. He further pointed out that the education of any man or woman was incomplete without some grounding in the humanities via the study of literature, philosophy and history.
He emphasized that literature was a mirror of the society, which simultaneously keeps us within fixed bounds of experience. It also takes us beyond those very bounds, he explained, stressing that reading is one of the best and most dependable means of self-development, preparing one for self–employment and self-actualization.
The executive director of Ejiro and Otive Igbuzor Foundation, Monday Osasah, said the organizer of the annual event was a non–profit, non–governmental and non–partisan organization that promotes community development, women empowerment, education and leadership as well as a catalyst and facilitator of change aimed at improving the quality of life of communities in Africa.