Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday proffered hard work and productivity as panacea to Nigeria’s socio-economic and political development.
He said Nigeria would have overcome some of her challenges if not being hindered by endemic corruption.
Osinbajo gave the charge while addressing a congregation of youths that converged on Osogbo for 2018 Southwest Regional Youth Summit, held at WOCDIF Centre, Osogbo, Osun State capital.
He charged Nigerians to champion virtues of integrity and Omoluabi ethos as the only fundamental principle of development.
The Vice President held that Nigerians must begin to look inward on the need to support government’s efforts by being productive and hardworking, noting that a nation could only achieve her aspirations if the people are productive.
Osinbajo canvassed good character among Nigerians, saying talent and potentials mean nothing if character is absent.
According to him, “if we truly want our nation to grow and develop, thus everyone needs to make necessary input and the only way to achieving this is to be productive in all we do.”
“”We must begin to plan for the future of our nation. We must create foundation for values as it is critical to success.”
“We must work on the virtues that our founding fathers developed as this is the only way to set our nation on the path of greatness.
“In whatever we do, we must emphasize Omoluabi ethos. We must champion hard work and bear at the back of our minds the need to advance our nation in whatever we do.
“Talent and potential do not mean anything if there is no character, so no matter how talented one is, without character, there is no way to make success.
“Integrity is the key to success. Every business that doesn’t emphasize integrity, always fails, thus everyone must be ready to work and make sacrifice if we truly want development.”
The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, challenged Nigerian Youths to be productive for the country to come out of its present economic challenges.
The Governor held that education can be effective for national growth if it induces productivity, saying the youth should see the only way to success as hard work.
He noted that youths should see agriculture as a viable business as against the belief that it is meant for the uneducated. Aregbesola stated it is disheartening that despite the fact that Nigeria is the leading cassava producing nation in the world, the country is unable to feed itself because her productivity level is low on the crop, compared to India and Thailand.
He said, “We must first discover ourselves and apply our discovery to advance our nation. There is no short cut to success other than hard work and productivity.
“One cannot go to anywhere if he or she only believes in advance fee fraud and other vices.
“It’s unfortunate that we don’t produce what we consume as a nation, but we rely on rent. Though we are educated but our education lacks critical thinking.
“We are the largest producer of cassava in the world but it is unfortunate that we are not bringing out anything positive from that effort”, the Governor emphasised.
Also, the Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, while charging youths to be hard-working noted that the only way to succeed in life is through hard work and not luck, like many youths of today now believe.
While challenging the youths to begin to see themselves as the set of people who will drive the future, Governor Ajimobi maintained that all the youth must decide to succeed in life through hard work.
Speaking on the purpose of the summit, the Oyo State Governor said it is about promoting and enhancing the future through the youth of today, stressing that the patriotic sentiment is to forge the future of the South West through the youth.
The Governor said it is important to maximize the opportunity of the summit as he called on the youths to see it as an opportunity to come together and chart a way forward for the youths in the South West and the nation at large.
He said active participation in the summit is a means of ensuring that the dreams and aspirations for the future are met.
According to Ajimobi, “the patriotic sentiment is to forge the future of the South West through this all important youth summit at this time when the nation at large needs to plan for the future.
“I see the youths as the next set of people who will drive our destiny and take our race to the next level through hard work and creativity.
“It is important to maximise the opportunity of this summit to chart a way for the growth and development of the South West, when youths come together, something good must come out of such deliberation.
“It is by investing in the youth that we have a future and our dreams and aspirations as a people will be met.”. Ajimobi stressed.
Earlier, the Acting Director General of the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN), Mr Sheye Oyeleye explained that the importance of the summit is to have the inputs of the youth in the master plan of Nigeria’s development starting with the South West.
He charged youths in the South West to always conceptualize their thoughts towards how to have a better future and take the region to its pride of place in the scheme of things that concerns Nigeria as a whole.
Oyeleye challenged youths in the South West to start thinking out of the box as the
world is now technology driven, noting that the time has come for the West to start seeing themselves as the rallying point of the development of Nigeria.
“I think the time has come for the youth in the South West to come out of their shells and begin to see themselves as the cradle of development of Nigeria.
“I know that our youths are intelligent and very vibrant, but it is time for them to start taking charge and put it into action.
“We should seize the opportunity of the crop of governors we have today who are ready to drive the development of Nigeria, stating with the South-West. I think the present South West governors are very passionate about the growth of the region.
In a goodwill message, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, commended the foresight of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for appointing more youths into his cabinet, while calling on other South West governors to follow suit.
He maintained that if more governors in the region give more youth opportunities in their cabinets, the youth will be begin to have a sense of responsibility and the feeling that they own the future.
The royal father used the occasion to charge youths to join the present administration in the fight against corruption, saying it is one of the ways the country can move forward and also guarantee a corrupt free future.
“My Governor in Osun has always set the tone for the youths to take charge of the future through the appointment of a lot of youth into his cabinet.
“Osun has always been youth-driven and I want other South West governors to take a cue from this”.