Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State has called on Nigerian youths to secure a better future for themselves through hard work,diligence and productivity in all their endeavours.
The governor said, for Nigeria to reclaim her glorious position of providing genuine and outstanding leadership among the comity of nations, her youths must rise to the present challenges and take their historic position to lead the black race.
The governor stated this at the 2018 South-West Conference of the Junior Chamber International (JCI) held in Osogbo, the state capital, at the weekend.
He described youths as ‘most energetic, productive, proactive as well as the hope for better future’.
Governor Aregbesola also warned them not to be found wanting in the effort to take the country to greater heights.
He called on Nigerian youths to take the bull by the horn by contributing their quota to the growth and development of the country as “the strength of a nation is measured by the strength of her youths.”
He also warned the youths against social vices but rather champion the virtues of hard work, integrity, honesty, pursuit of knowledge and the quest for innovation and path finding.
He said for Nigeria to actualize her set objectives the youths must refrain from acts capable of rubbing the corporate integrity and reputation of the country in the mud.
He said the theme for the programme, “Citizens in Action: Recipe for National Development” was very apt and accurate in diagnosing the lapses in our system as well as looking for the way forward out of the existing quagmire.
His words, “The trend in other parts of the world is that young people are increasingly setting the pace. People like Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, the online retain corporation, Mark Zukerberg who invented Facebook, Jerry Yang who created Yahoo, David Cameron, the immediate past Prime Minister of Britain and several others who, as young men in their 20s and 30s, have taken direction of the world in business and politics.
“In our land, we have Anthony Enahoro who was elected into the Federal House of Representatives in his early 20s, Adeyemi Lawson, who at 24 became the chairman of Lagos Island Local Government, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe who, as young men, became political colossus.
Regrettably, too many of our youths have been wasted and are also poised to self-destruct.
“The youths are the hope of our race and they must take their historic position. It is very disturbing that many of our youths are been found wanting. This is most regrettable.
“It is regrettable that some youths of this generation are looking for unearned wealth and easy life, prompting them to engage in advance fee fraud, internet fraud, ritual killing, kidnapping, armed banditry and other violent crimes.
“If this trend continues, the future is indeed bleak, hence the need for youths to separate seeking information from entertainment, as the world is becoming increasingly competitive and digitalised”, he added.
Governor Aregbesola told the gathering that his administration had secured a better future for the people of the state through the provision of quality and functional education.
”This is why our administration has taken education to be of utmost importance and driven the innovations we have made in education, including building new schools, free school feeding and providing e-learning tablets.
“Youth development and engagement has also been given attention by our administration in Osun. After my inauguration, we set up Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) which engaged 20,000 youths in public works in less than 100 days after our inauguration.
“Two years later, we took in another 20,000. This feat was unprecedented in Nigeria.
“The policy had ramifying micro-economic impact on Osun. The N200 million monthly allowance we gave them percolated the grassroots in buying food, paying rent, transportation and buying household goods. Three things then followed. One, Osun recorded the lowest unemployment rate in Nigeria.
“Secondly, the crime rate in the state also fell to national lowest. Lastly, the GDP of Osun rose to become the seventh highest nationally,” Aregbesola stressed.