By Mosunmola Ayobami, Kwara
Nigerian youths have called on leaders in the public and private sectors to prioritise mentorship for the younger generation in whatever capacity they find themselves.
This, according to them, is the antidote to keep them focused and fast-track Nigeria’s development.
The charge was given at the inaugural Voices of Leadership (VOT) organised by Technical Assistant on Investments to the Kwara State Governor, Kabir Shagaya, in commemoration of his 34th birthday.
The event, which held over the weekend at Banquet Hall, Ilorin was attended by influential personalities from both the public and private sectors who sat on the panel to discuss the theme: “Responsibilities and Expectations That Come With Influence.”
The programme had three different panel sessions with a blend of top government officials and successful entrepreneurs bearing their mind on arrays of issues bordering on human management, responsibilities, and challenges in the world of work.
Young technocrats on the panels included Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Debo Ogundoyin; MD/CEO, Rural Electrification Agency, Mr. Ahmed Salihijo; Commissioner for Finance, Cross Rivers State, Mr Asuquo Ekpenyong; Principal Private Secretary to Kwara State Governor, Mrs Jumoke Gafar; Director New Growth Areas, LIRS Lagos State, Mr Jimi Aina; Technical Assistant to the Minister of State, Petroleum, Mr Teme Banigo; Executive Assistant to the Governor of Edo State, and Mr Tijani Nwadei.
Others are Commissioner for Tertiary Education in Kwara State Barr. Senior Sulyman; General Manager of KWASSIP Mohammed Brimah; Executive Secretary of the Kwara State Primary Healthcare Development Agency Dr. Mrs Nusirat Elelu; Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye amongst others.
Successful young entrepreneurs including Prince Aderemi Sijuwaje; Dr Tola Awosika; Mr Waru Obaseki; Mr Segun Adebayo; Alhaji Hakeem Shagaya; Prince Bukunmi Olateru– Olagbegi; and Mr Lakunle Runsewe were also among the panelists at the summit.
VOT Summit assembled elder statesmen, royal fathers, youth and women groups, students across tertiary institutions of the state for a well-poised conversation on growth.
Speaking at the occasion, Shagaya said the initiative was birthed to provide a platform for influential young leaders to weigh in on worsening youth crisis, unemployment, lack of direction, saying he believed that it is the right place for youths to be inspired by visionary young leaders participating in discourse that broadens their possibilities, the vision to live a life of impact.
Panelists at the event agreed that youths are an important stakeholder deserving a platform to grow, commending Shagaya for the summit he organised which they described as brilliant and timely.
Prince Aderemi Sijuwade called on youths to be prayerful and diligent in whatever capacities they serve.
Speaking during a panel session, Mr, Salihijo also noted that managing relationship is vital to effective leadership, charging young people to be united and accessible in power.
The Oyo Speaker particularly said that Shagaya had inspired him to replicate the summit in his state.
He said such an initiative putting students and top leaders under the same roof for mentorship is commendable.
The programme also featured a debate session between tertiary institutions in Kwara State, with the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin emerging winner with a cash prize of N500,000.
The University of Ilorin, Ilorin took the first runner-up position and went away with N250,000, while the Kwara State University, Malete came third and was rewarded N150,000, and College of Education (COED), Ilorin went away with N100,000.