Olawuyi tasks stakeholders on youth representation
Frontline energy law expert and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Research, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships (ARISP) at the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Professor Damilola Olawuyi (SAN), has called on stakeholders in the public and private sectors to urgently address barriers that hinder active youth engagement and representation in governance, leadership and entrepreneurship development at all levels in the country.
The don made the call at the Young Lawyers’ Forum, organised by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikere-Ekiti branch, in his honour themed: “The Search for Sustainable Economic Development in Nigeria and the Role of the Young Lawyers.”
The event was organised to recognise Olawuyi’s trailblazing achievements as the youngest academic Senior Advocate of Nigeria, and his enormous contributions to youth empowerment, mentoring and legal education in Nigeria and beyond.
Moderated by a mix of current and past leaders of NBA, the event featured insightful presentations from senior lawyers, including the chairman of the occasion and Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Ekiti State, Olawale Fapohunda (SAN), Dr. Doyin Awoyale, who delivered the keynote lecture and Oludayo Olorunfemi, Executive Secretary Ekiti State Mortgage Board.
The chairman of the NBA Ikere Branch, Kikelomo Owolabi, and other panellists included Ayokunle Ogunleye, Michael Olaniyan, Adefolaju Ayobioloja, Dr. Ifeoluwa Olubiyi and a host of others.
In his welcome address, the Ekiti AG commended Prof. Olawuyi for his enormous and tireless contributions to the development of law and society.
He also emphasised the important role economic empowerment of young lawyers can play in enhancing the development of Ekiti State and the country as a whole.
He called on the NBA to continue to prioritise the professional development and welfare of its young members.
In his remarks, Olawuyi said: “Nigeria’s greatest asset is its vibrant young population. If adequately mentored and supported, Nigeria’s young population can unlock an era of technology-driven economic rebirth, social transformation, and sustainable development in key sectors.
“We must therefore join hands to urgently address barriers that hinder active youth engagement and participation in governance, leadership, and entrepreneurship development at all levels”
He, therefore, thanked the leadership of the NBA Ikere for finding him worthy of honour.
He said: “I look forward to contributing even more to justice, legal education, and the sustainable development of our dear country.”
While highlighting the role of young lawyers in building vibrant and healthy communities, Olawuyi called on all young lawyers to leverage their legal training to become the voice and conscience of society.
He also encouraged all NBA branches to identify priority areas of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and design tailored programmes and seed funding that can accelerate the SDGs.