As part of efforts targeted at creating a platform for the active involvement of the youth in Nigeria’s future, the inaugural Babatunde Raji Fashola (BRF) Gabfest held recently at City Hall, Lagos Island.
The BRF Gabfest which was themed ‘The Youth in Nigeria: Mapping the Future’, held in honour of the 55th birthday celebration of Legal practitioner and Public Servant, the Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, and had in attendance, stakeholders from the public and private sectors, as well as members of the general public.
Delivering her address at the event, keynote speaker, Chairman First Bank of Nigeria, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika remarked, “The future of the adults is not secured if we cannot secure the future of the youths. If we do not build the right generation of youths now in the country, they will be the one to destroy the country in the future”.
According to her, “We need to give the youths the knowledge that will be relevant now and in years to come. Graduates must have the skills that are needed in the work place. We need to review the knowledge we are passing in the institution, to know if the knowledge is relevant to the needs of the present day”.
She further added that if the country is not stabilized through the creation of an enabling environment for the young ones to strive, and create jobs for themselves, the country would be at risk.
“To map the future for our youth’s means that we must create an environment that empowers and allows people to create jobs for themselves. Nigerian youths need to retrain the youth’s people for new generation jobs,” she said.
Speaking at the event, Fashola called for unrelenting investment in education, emphasizing on the importance of education in securing the future of the youths and the nation at large.
“We should also not let down our local language; we should try and explain things we know to our children in our local language, because the understanding is deeper when the teaching is in the local dialect.”
Commenting on the importance of the event at such a time as this, organizers of the well-attended seminar and Group Chief Executive of Temple Management Company, Idris Olorunnimbe said, “Nigeria is at a crucial stage as we anticipate the national elections next year. It is for this reason that movements such as ‘Not too young to Run’ have gained widespread recognition. Nigerian youth must awaken and take their future into their own hands”.
“One of the objectives of the seminar was create a meeting point between those currently in public offices and the Nigerian youth who desire to prepare for public service. The event served as a launching pad in the education and preparation of the youth for public service while discussing their concerns in an interactive atmosphere. We are indeed glad it delivered on that,” Mr. Olorunnimbe added.
Participants across the two panels of discussion at the event include, Ayisha Osori, Kayode Adegbola, Asuquo Ekpenyong, Basketmouth, Japheth Omojuwa, Obiora Obiabunmo, Koye Sowemimo with Maupe Ogun-Yusuf and Oreka Godis as the moderators.
ABOUT BABATUNDE RAJI FASHOLA (BRF) GABFEST
The inaugural BRF Gabfest was organized to celebrate the 55th birthday of Lawyer and Public Servant, the Honourable Minister of Power, Works, and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN. The event garnered 8 speakers across 2 panels, who offered constructive insight into the event theme. The event brought together speakers across both the public and private sector, and offered the audience a chance to also engage on youth-facing issues.