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TOPIC: Nigeria Economy in recession: The Roles of Nigerian Youths and Parliamentarians in Ensuring Economic Stability


Greatest LASUITES, I am most honoured to deliver this keynote address at this auspicious occasion of the 27th inaugural lecture of Students’ Parliamentary Council of the Lagos State University. This is a traditional event of legislative arm of the Students’ Union Government in this reputable institution and it is an honour to be considered worthy and fit to take this special role as a model legislator.

I feel at home in the midst of the young people particularly to inspire the rank and file of students on occasion like this. As a public servant, we are strongly hopeful that the capacity of our youths to thinker solutions to critical issues affecting our nation is an indication that our country is not ruptured by intellectual deficit. This is proven in the choice of theme you have chosen for this year’s inaugural lecture. Though our economy may be in recession, obviously our mental capacities to proffer solutions have never gone on recess.

No doubt, this inaugural lecture is part of your own contribution to national development by shaping discourse that not only criticise the system but helping to suggest solutions from its outcomes. Your civic roles also include active participation in elections and electoral processes. You must be strong; you must think out of the box; you must mobilise your colleagues to generate ideas capable of engaging the government intellectually and productively. You must stand for a cause; be the change that you want to see; be great in your mind to become great in the outward.

From time immemorial, the role of students in nation building is noticeable. Students have been part of collective struggle for democracy we all enjoy today. Students voice was reckoned with strongly because of the roles played by students’ activists and generality of students dated back to pre-independence era.

Therefore, your ability to make a change or be part of change process is embedded in your mental capacity which you must harness and deploy for good. Now, you are more confronted with intellectual struggle rather than physical display of energy.

You all know the story of Mark Zuckerberg; the richest young person on earth and 5th richest in the world with net worth of about US$55.3 billion as of October 2016. Mark struck billion dollar idea as a university student when he founded facebook. As an individual, Mark possesses such enormous wealth vast enough to take Nigeria out of this current recession. Young entrepreneurs are making grater impacts in global economy. That you are in school doesn’t stop you from creating big ideas that can become goldmine. I challenge you to think of one today.

Dear students, I want you to activate your innate potentials that qualifies you to establish partnership with the government. The government nowadays reckon more with youths who are able to bring to table ideas that help the State move forward – the solution oriented youths!

As legislators, our roles before and particularly in this trying time are to ensure synergy amongst the arms of government so as to guarantee harmony that helps smooth running of the government; to encourage prudence by ensuring careful and efficient management of resources through legislative check; and also to cooperate and approve interventions capable of helping our economic situation improve. These we have been doing and will stop at nothing until our country fully recovers from the scourge of economic illness.

To activate your visions and goals as young people, I implore you to think less of what you can get from the government. If you focus enough on your goals and achieve them succinctly, you are already a partner of the state in whatever status you are. Trust me you don’t even have to be a politician to achieve this. You need to get the right mentors; define your post school agenda right now and never give room to be referred to as ‘unemployed youth’ when you leave school.

As students’ parliamentarian, you are already occupying leadership positions because this is the first training ground for leadership. Young people must develop their all-round capacity to stay relevant. I am a lawmaker today not because I come from a rich background or had an influential godfather, rather, my determination and focus on my goals when I was a student like you is what earned me my current position. I was like you yesteryears, and you can also become like me today if you will stop at nothing to sustain your dream and eschew frivolity. Train yourself to become selfless leader. Learn to stand for something and be identified with a cause.

I am passionate about the youth and will offer to support your cause at no cost. I established Eleniyancares Foundation because I believe that our country needs to harness the potentials of our youth more. You have greater prospects for living in the most cosmopolitan environment in the country where you have access to facilities ahead of your contemporaries elsewhere across the nation. Lagos under Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is the first State to establish a Youth Policy in Africa. Youth Policy is a special policy document that addresses concerns of young people and provides opportunities for their growth and development. Take advantage of this by partnering with the Ministry of Youth Development.

Also, our amiable Governor’s love for the youth made him to establish a special Ministry for Wealth Creation whose target is young people like you. The objective of that is to scale up small and medium scale enterprise (SMEs) through financial and technical supports. Note that SMEs are often targeted at youth globally to enable progressive economic drive with youthful energy. Take advantage of access to faster technology, high media presence and unrestricted network with people and industries.

Lastly, I want to tell you that the only way we can have economic stability is for the medium scale industries to continue to suffice in complementary to government’s economic drive. Though I share your concern talking about enabling atmosphere, but I charge you to have resilience to rise above every difficulty and challenge that may attempt to form a wall between you and your dreams. We have a future and will get to promise land as a nation. Together, we can make a sustainable economy possible. You are the hope and the change agents.

According to Barack Obama,
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

Once again, I am honoured to be here not just as a keynote speaker, but as a returnee to my alma-mater, an institution which I will forever be proud of. However, my greatest joy will be to see some of you becoming members of the 10th, 11th Assembly in the Lagos State parliament and more. Surely, as we are lawmakers of today, you are the legislators of tomorrow.

I thank you sincerely for your time and attention.

Long live LASUSU SPC
Long live Lagos State University

Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko, ohun lo jewa logun!

Eleniyancares – God is involved!!!

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