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, saying it 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 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, Engr. 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 Minister of State Petroleum, Mr Teme Banigo; Executive Assistant to the Governor of Edo State, and Mr Tijani Nwadei.
Speaking at VOT, Kabir 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 Kabir Shagaya for the summit he organised which they described as brilliant and timely.
Oyo Speaker particularly said that Shagaya had inspired him to replicate the summit in Oyo State. He said such an initiative putting students and top leaders under the same roof for mentorship is commendable.
Meanwhile, 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 the sum of N250,000, while the Kwara State University, Malete came third and was rewarded with N150,000, and College of Education (COED), Ilorin went away with N100,000.
Kabir assured that the summit will hold next year, promising to continue interfacing with the students for the good of the nation.