Leaders from different segments of the country have encouraged youths to change their thought process, take ownership of their lives and begin to actively contribute to the economic change in the nation.
While speaking the at the 2016 Emerging Leaders Conference in Lagos on Friday, the Chairman, Punch Nigeria Limited, Mr. Wale Aboderin, who chaired the occasion, encouraged the youth to make deliberate efforts to acquire knowledge, be determined and develop their capabilities.
The Convener and President, Guardians of the Nation International, organisers of the conference, Dr. Linus Okorie; and Chairman, Lagos Smart City, Prof. Pat Utomi, also urged young people in the country to be solution providers rather than problem creators.
In a presentation entitled: ?Self-reinvention: The Trigger for Economic Boom,? Aboderin noted that religious bias was one of the problems hindering the growth and development of the country, because most people had allowed it to influence their thoughts and actions.
He said, ?Knowledge is power and people perish for lack of knowledge. In every occasion, there are always two things you will learn: what to do and what not to do. What are you going to take away from here? What will you remember?
?In this country, we see things going on and we have the habit of saying ?it is okay, so far it does not affect me.? Some people will say ?let us pray?. But how have you impacted upon your fellow man? Until you can do that, that is when you reinvent yourself. First, re-engineer your brain to always believe that wherever you are, you can always be better. I am hoping today, you will start to do something for yourselves.?
Earlier in his welcome address, Okorie said that the greatest resources of a nation in a time of recession were the people, noting that stakeholders needed to take advantage of the huge Nigerian population and invest in the people in order to make them more valuable to the country.
He said, ?We are now in the learning system that will challenge our assumptions, world views and relay systems. When all these happen to you today and tomorrow, my expectation will be that we will learn to expand our bands and grow at such a speed that will enable us to discover ourselves.
?Start the process of collaboration and start the process that will give birth to new mind-sets, new projects, new companies and new institutions. We are here today because we are concerned about the Nigerian condition, because we want to do something to change it.?
While speaking on the topic, ?Private sector influence in birthing economic recovery,? Utomi said that obedience and results derived from the use of power were not sustainable.
According to him, past leaders? ?hunters? mind-set? has prevented nation building.
?We need to get our policies right, build strong institutions, have the right values that will shape progress, work ethics and respect for dignity. The essential characteristics of the class of 1966 is that they have the hunters? mind-set. It has prevented us from nation building. Nations are not built by hunters. Farmers sow and water until it (plant) grows. Our country needs farmers,? he said.
In his goodwill message, the Programme Officer, Youth Opportunity and Learning, Ford Foundation, Dabesaki Ikemenjima, who was represented by the Programme Associate, Mrs. Padma Ugbagbe, highlighted the importance of training and mentoring of the youth for leadership.
Other discussants at the event were the President, BAU, Research and Development, Mr. Gossy Ukanwoke; and Lead Consultant, ThistlePraxis Consulting, Mrs. Ini Onuk.