Ogun State Governor Dabo Abiodun said Nigeria’s huge young population and not oil is the country’s economic mainstay.
He also noted that a well-nourished and developed youth is capable of launching the nation into the global reckoning.
Abiodun, who made this assertion in a lecture delivered at the 4th Convocation Ceremony of Mountain Top University, declared that Nigerian youth are knowledgeable, energetic and indomitable spirit.
He observed that although the nation is blessed with abundant oil, hard minerals and other natural resources, Nigeria’s wealth lies in the youth who are seen as the future leaders.
Speaking on the topic “Youth as a catalyst for building Nigeria’s future”, he said “Let me say without fear of contradiction that we have a lot to be proud of but our attitude towards our youth is not part of it. An important dimension of our leadership predicament in Nigeria is largely due to youth deprivation Nigerians have the right to vote.
“I dare say that the statistical story of Nigerian youth seems to have covered even worse with democracy. It is important for you, the youth, to have faith and faith and for those who wish to change the equation and advance the trajectory of our youth in business and politics.
“But more than anything else, don’t let someone else make your world for you. Because when they do, they will always make it too small and it may not be the world you want for yourselves,” he noted.
Abiodun entrusted the youth with channeling their energies by exploring new horizons in various fields of human endeavor that would bring desired development to all aspects of the economy as it is the “new oil of the nation”.
The ruler also urged the youth to rally around themselves, to enable others to realize their potential as well as to use their numerical strength wherever they are, to define and strengthen their strength to take leadership in both economics and politics.
According to Abiodun, “Since young people are usually the direct and indirect victims of misgovernance and bad leadership, it is imperative that they do not wait for state policies to crush them by others without their input, but rather that they become involved in the issues that affect them.”
He affirmed that the youth are the basic layer for the development of any nation, as they act as a driving force through their vitality and steadfastness.
He called on the government at all levels to provide a platform for young people to contribute to the development of society, adding that as future leaders, it is important to involve them in policies and decision-making to prepare them for the task ahead.
While calling for streamlining admissions to universities and other higher institutions, the governor noted that they must continue to ensure an appropriate relationship between “city and mantle” and recruit qualified personnel to meet the developmental needs of the community.
He emphasized that youth empowerment remains a focal point in his administration, as it requires higher institutions to expose their students to entrepreneurship and mechanized agriculture, as the sector has the potential to provide job opportunities, alleviate poverty and ensure food security.
The Head of State called on Mountain Top University and others to come up with a productive approach to youth production that would maintain and increase the pace of development and provide a solid foundation for the future.
Represented on the occasion, Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said that the school has made tremendous contributions to the development of the country’s workforce and has set a benchmark of academic excellence in the country.
He mandated the graduates to engage in problem-solving and not be job-seekers, and commended the Ogun State government for its efforts in putting the education sector on a sound footing.
In his remarks, Chancellor, Mountain Top University and Superintendent General of the Ministry of Mountain of Fire, Dr. Daniel Olkoya, while congratulating the graduates, noted that the school was established to provide a comprehensive education that would make its products compete favorably with the best anywhere in the world.
While admonishing them to know all they learned while in school, Dr. Olukoya called them to be good ambassadors for the institution and appreciated the parents’ sacrifice to give their children and the departments a sound education that would prepare them for the task ahead.
The institution has graduated 264 students from 31 first class, 125 upper class, 93 lower class, ten tertiary and five graduate degrees.
The highlight of the event was the awarding of 2 Million Naira to the best graduating student, Miss Victoria Amaichi from the Department of Biological Sciences with a GPA of 4.9
Youth, not oil, Nigeria’s economic mainstay – Governor Abiodun