Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Young Nigerian Leaders advocate for Visionary Leadership at the 16th Nigerian Economic Summit

The 16th Nigeria Economic Summit held recently at the Transcorp Hilton hotel Abuja. This 2010 is acclaimed to be the best and most productive ever. It was the coming together of brilliant minds to strategise the way forward for our great nation Nigeria. For the first time in its 16 year existence, the youths were given an opportunity at the summit through a special youth summit. The youth summit was well attended by leaders of Corporate Nigeria and delegates from The Rise Group {}, the Nation’s Leading youth Empowerment and development organization.
The youth summit was originally billed to discuss the dearth of blue collar workers and vocational training in the country. But the passion and energy of the youth shifted the course of the summit into discussing Visionary Leadership as the primary catalyst for Nigeria’s emergence as a great nation. At a time when politicians were more particular about zoning and not competency, the youths had their own agenda of defining our future by choosing right; the 2011 elections the defining battle ground.
The youth summit of the 16th Nigerian Economic Summit was mentally engaging.

It highlighted the strategy for the emancipation of the Great Nation Nigeria; where the Established [Old guard] must work with the Emerging [Youths] to birth a better Nigeria
Our cause was championed by the brilliant Fela Durotoye, Linus Okorie, Super Toyosi Akerele, Fareeda Muhktar and Tosin Otitoju. The youth summit brought together the deliberation of minds from both the emerging [youths] and the established [elderly] leaders in the room. It was passionately engaging with elderly people standing for over 15 minutes to have their points heard, a proof that together we can make Nigeria a great Nation.

Below is an experience as narrated by one of the distinguished Young Participants:
Adeshina Oyetayo, 1st Runner Up, CNN African Journalist of the Year, 2007

As a writer, I have always held strongly that the value system of Nigeria could only witness a positive change if among other things, there was an availability of biographies and autobiographies of those leaders and role models that a vast majority of youths look up to. And I was glad when this argument was upheld by a panelist at the emerging leaders’ forum of the 16th Nigerian Economic Summit which held Wednesday, October 20th at the Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
According to the panelist, a banker actually, he admitted that Nigeria has a large youth market that must be made to dream audacious dreams by reading the true life experiences and trajectories of those that came before. “Youths need role models in order to have big dreams and a clear vision of where they are headed; and they must be made to realize that hard work pays,” he said, I nodded in agreement. If not anything else, the summation of this particular panelist was like a clarion call to me especially, and other writers in general, to be more proactive with our skills and help re-orientate the Nigerian youth that the surest path to fame and success is hard work and a clear vision.
Another highlight for me particularly was the large number of youths doing wondrously well in their different endeavours and who all came to be part of the forum. I was (still am) bowled by the fact that Adebola Williams is just 24 and yet, we have been acquainted for more than five years; that my friend, sister and collaborator, Toyosi Akerele, founder, Rise Group has in a short while become a successful entrepreneur and compulsive motivational speaker with speaking engagements all over the world; and even more profoundly, Gbenga Sesan’s astronomical heights in information and communication technology and advocacy.
Even the elders present during the Session who were made up of respectable Nigerians who have made commendable impact on the Economic landscape of Nigeria agreed and attested to the fact that we are ‘the turning point generation’.
The NESG Director General, Mr. Frank Nweke jnr should be applauded for sincerely and passionately pushing forward the Course of young people while also believing strongly in their innate potential, creativity and capacity to propel Nigeria to an enviable height.
He also promised to compile the insightful and practical recommendations of the Discussants and send them to the Government for further approval and inclusion in our national policy.

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