Nigeria: 'Youths Empowerment, Key to Socio-Economic Transformation'
25th May 2010, Lagos — For Nigeria to become one of the top 20 countries by 2020, there is need for the government and stakeholders to engage the youths in socio-economic transformation. Principal Consultant Lonadek Oil and Gas, Dr. Lola Amao has said.
Amao, who made this call at the 10th edition of youth empowerment and restoration initiative programme, organised by her organisation for students in Lagos recently, said an urgent national statement was required to stimulate private public sector partnership so as to develop human capacity, infrastructure, institutions, as well as identify youths with potentials, who are willing to transform the country.
According to her, since the Nigerian Content Bill, which was passed into an Act in April 2010 had opened doors of opportunities for Nigerians and indigenous companies, there was need to maximise such opportunities by ensuring that the country's education and human capacity development programmes were put right.
"To achieve vision 20 2020, fruitful careers must be birthed from strong foundations, firm spiritual convictions, sound education and well thought-out human capital development programmes."
Amao, who expressed concern over the poor performance recorded at the examination conducted by the National Examinations Council (NECO), called for drastic steps to encourage learning and development, improve literacy, aggressively empower the best teachers and career counselors, as well as introduce mind stimulating activities and competitions that would bring out the best in the youths.
While appealing to the government to focus and invest more in the delivery of qualitative education, training and technology acquisition in schools, she said, "through our career counseling, industry awareness and youth empowerment initiative, Lonadek Oil and Gas has committed itself to giving young minds direction and encouragement so that they can channel their energy into value adding and constructive activities."
Managing Director, Addax Petroleum Development Nigeria Limited, Mr. Vance Querio urged the students to strive to contribute towards the country's development. "It is important to know that everyone of you has something to offer Nigeria. What you do today in terms of your commitment to your education will determine the future of the country, because truly, you are the future leaders of the country and must be well equipped to face the task ahead of you."
Chairman Board of Trustees for vision 2020, Engr. Olatokunbo Somolu said one way of redressing the problems of youths restiveness was through re-orienting them, providing qualitative education and training in core subjects such as Mathematics, Science and Technology.
Prof. Pat Utomi also expressed optimism that the youths would be willing to make the dream of a better Nigeria come true, saying, "You have to be willing to claim such possibilities and work hard to make the dreams come true. Our country is counting on you on the use of your talents. Discipline and right values are ingredients for your progress, work hard with the talent that God has given you so that Nigeria will find paradise that it was designed to be."