The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Saturday urged youths in the country to explore opportunities in technology and innovative endeavours for self-reliance.
Osinbajo made the call at a Public Lecture to commemorate the 68th anniversary of Sigma Club at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan.
The lecture which was delivered by the vice president was entitled “Developing the Nation through Youth Empowerment”.
He said that there was no other way to develop “our nation if the youths are not technologically and innovative-driven”.
According to him, there is clearly a big vacuum in technology and this is where great opportunities are.
Osinbajo, who said that Nigeria’s future lay in the hands of the youth, charged them to be vigilant and to hold leaders accountable.
He said: “The future can only be great if you are vigilant and hold your leaders accountable.”
He disclosed that the Federal Government was currently developing a curriculum on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, which would “include 21st century way of thinking”.
He said: “A lot is going on in creativity and technology; the future of job creation is in technology and innovation. We are moving to universities for different innovation and Federal Government will invest on it.”
In his remarks at the occasion, Dr Wale Babalakin, said that the choice of the topic was remarkable and cardinal to the development of Nigeria.
Babalakin who is the Pro-Chancellor, University of Lagos, said that the country must get youth development right and also ensure that youths got qualitative education.
He said: “Time has gone for us to continue with the blame game. Whatever that might have led us to the current challenges is unfortunate, but do the needful in salvaging youth unemployment.”
He said that the nation needed to find a way of funding education in a robust fashion that was sustainable.
Babalakin commended the Sigma Club for consistently providing leadership to the youths of the country through its annual public lectures.
Leader of the club, Valentine Igbonekwu, said the lecture was organised to offer a platform for Nigerian youths to improve their economic productivity and social economic inclusion through proper acquisition of skills.
Igbonekwu, referred to as “Sigma Chief”, explained that the club, University of Ibadan, was the oldest surviving students’ organisation in sub-sahara Africa with considerable focus on good character, discipline, integrity and national development.
According to him, the club, over the years, has contributed immensely to educational development, with timely interventions and prompt contribution through its stigma educational foundation.
He said that the public lecture which has played host to distinguished speakers had become a platform where burning national issues of collective interest were intellectually dissected with a view to proffering lasting solutions to them.
The chief urged all youths to rise through the event and strategically apply the lesson learnt in profitable enterprises that would help to stem youth unemployment in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Stigma Club is a social and philanthropic students’ organisation founded in 1950 by male undergraduates of University of Ibadan.