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NECCI PR roundtable advocates result-oriented youths in leadership


Former Minister of Solid Minerals and Education respectively, Co-Founder of Transperancy International, Dr Oby Ezekwesili; Convener NECCI PR Roundtable, Nkechi Ali-Balogun and Chairman, First Bank Nig Plc, Ibukun at the roundtable in Lagos

Stakeholders and participants at the 18th NECCI PR Roundtable have insisted that only patriotic, detribalised and effective youths should be allowed to take the mantle of leadership in the country.

Former Minister of Education, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, who was one of the guest speakers identified character, competence and capacity as indispensable qualities of any youth or leader that should lead a country.

According to her, “a good leader must have the three qualities in good measure so that the leader will not be a locust, because with competence and capacity without character, the leader will be a locust.

A leader that has character but lacks competence and capacity will be a nice person but will not be able to assemble the complexity of thoughts required to organize the resources required to govern, and the person that has capacity but does not have competence and character, will be a bulldozer, he will not be able to lead well.”

Ezekwesili, who spoke on ‘Youth in Governance’, added that sound policies, strong institutions and quality investments in goods and services are also important requirement to build a successful and enviable country.

Another guest speaker and Chairman First Bank, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika stressed the need for a ‘Youth Tribe’.

According to her, Nigerian youths must be detribalised to achieve their goal.

Speaking on the topic, ‘Youth Business’, she stated, “we have fundamental challenges that some nations do not have to deal with. 

The older generations are entrenched in their tribal identity.

When a man works in Lagos for forty years, after retirement, he would like to go back to his village.

We still fight the battle of not to marry from a particular tribe or the other.

“While there is that entrenched opposition, which the politicians find convenient to take advantage of, all they need to do is to keep reminding the citizens of the divisions.

The youths of this country have the largest population. If we can have a tribe of youths; not Igbo, Hausa or Yoruba tribe or youths, but serious minded youths that have a common goal and are dedicated, empowered, competent, capable and have value system that distinguishes them from others.

Youths must also be deliberate about what they want to achieve.

It doesn’t matter what the older generations have done wrong. What matters is what the younger generations must do right.”

The convener of the programme, Mrs. Nkechi Ali-Balogun, noted that the main focus of the debate was in three areas: Inclusion, engagement and transformation.

“In recent times, the focus has been on the youth with youth activism and empowerment globally.

There is a consensus or a tacit agreement that the key to the advancement of any nation lies in a strong workforce and human capital.

One of Nigeria’s greatest asset no doubt is its human capital. The youths form a majority of this.

“The world Bank President, Mr. Jim Yom Kim, recently, called for an accelerated investment in human capital in Nigeria in order to secure future economic growth.

Again, Akinwunmi Ambode (2014) posits that the Nigerian youths is a socio economic and human capital goldmine that can catapult Nigeria from an emerging economy to a major world economy.

To achieve this, we must assign to this critical demographic segment the resources for sustainable productivity.”

Speaking further, “indeed, we have witnessed an onslaught of various empowerment programmes for the Nigerian youth and some of them have been very successful in providing meaningful engagement for them.

However, judging by the teeming population of youths in this country, these efforts appear like a drop in the ocean.

It is not enough exposing youths to progrrammes supposedly aimed at empowering them without ensuring they occupy the driver’s seat in the nations drive for a better future.

This has formed the basis for our choice of a youth debate.

The 18th NECCI PR Roundtable is tagged: The 2018 Youth Debate-From Potential to Reality.”

According to her, “one of the narratives we are trying to change is that the elders should learn to leave the space for the younger ones.

It is time for us to nurture the younger ones too should lead. 

Another narrative we want to change is that Entitlement Rights have to change.  

We also have to support them with funds. My message to Nigerian youths is that they cannot sit on the fence.

It is time for them to use the innate power that God has given them to make a change and it is time they begin to use the social media to change things.

We must have a Youth Tribe that is detribalised.”

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