Youths in Nigeria have been asked to initiate good ideas that would make them become self-reliant and to explore ways through which they could help the country overcome its present economic conundrum.
This call was made by resource persons who spoke during separate paper presentations at the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA), a programme organized by the Rotary Club International of District 9125, which took place on Tuesday September 20, 2016. The programme which had participants selected from 23 states of the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was held at ACE, Ondo from Monday September 19-Saturday September 24, 2016.
Speaking on the theme: “Capacity Building Towards Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship”, two resource persons, Dr. Kehinde Adenegan, a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Assistant Director, Management Information Systems Unit, Adeyemi College of Education (ACE) and Chief (Hon.) Tola Wewe, former Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Ondo State respectively, stressed the need for youths to spend their time wisely by standing up to the challenges of the present time in the country, by being creative and showing more interest in entrepreneurship and wealth creation instead of sitting idle and looking endlessly for non-available white collar jobs.
Dr Adenegan, in another paper titled “Entrepreneurship as a means of Achieving Economic Growth in Nigeria”, described economic growth as the increase in value of goods and services produced in an economy.
He lamented what he described as the present poor state of Nigeria’s economy, which he noted was once described as the most developed in Africa, a description now fit for South Africa.
On how to remedy the situation, the Mathematics lecturer advised citizens of the country, particularly its youth to embrace entrepreneurship and acquire relevant skills, through which they would transform themselves from job seekers to job providers, adding that the step would go a long way in boosting the country’s economic growth.
Underscoring the importance of entrepreneurship, Adenegan mentioned that when youths learn a trade or craft, they would become employment creators and make meaningful contributions to national development.
In his paper: “Art and craft as a means of earning a living”, the former Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Ondo State, Chief Tola Wewe, highlighted various opportunities available in art and craft through which youths could earn a living. These opportunities include weaving, leather work, blacksmithing, carpentry embroidery, toy and bead making, as well as sculpture and painting.
Harping on the need for youths to rise up and participate in the development of the art, culture and music industry, Wewe said the step would help in the creation of employment opportunities and boost the country’s foreign exchange earnings.
Earlier in his remarks, the Provost of the College, Prof. Olukoya Ogen represented by the Dean, School of Science in the College, Dr. Folorunso Balogun, commended the Rotary Club International District 9125 for organizing the programme in the Institution.
Prof. Ogen described the theme of the five-day programme as apt, noting that its message is in consonance with his vision for the College.
The College administrator, however, advised participants to make judicious use of the knowledge acquired during the programme and urged them to continue to contribute their best to the development of the nation.
In his welcome address, the District Governor, Rotary International 9125, Rotarian Clement Adebisi Adegoke, stated that the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) was initiated for the purpose of creating opportunities for participants to learn skills that would make them useful in the future.
He advised participants to exhibit self-confidence, discipline and obey all rules and regulations during the exercise and urged them to make judicious use of knowledge acquired during the programme by going back to give their best to the society.
The colourful event also featured a welcome address by the Chairman RYLA Planning Committee, Rotarian Bose Olanusi and inspection of guards by the DG, Rotarian Adebisi Adegoke.
The programme also featured activities such as skills acquisition workshops, motivational talks, health lectures, football matches, camp-fire night, quiz competition, debate and beauty contests, and a recognition of the Houses in which the participants were grouped: Blue, White, Lilac, Yellow, Purple, Orange, Green and Red.