2018 International Youth Day: Ondo Rep, Joseph Akinlaja, Harps on Capacity Building For Youths

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A member representing Ondo East and West Federal Constituency at the National Assembly, Hon Joseph Iranola Akinlaja has called for capacity building to assist Nigerian youths especially those at his constituency such that they can contribute significantly to national development.

The Ondo federal lawmaker made this known in a press statement made available to journalists on Sunday in commemoration of the International Youth Day. Annually for the past 18 years, the 12th of August has been set aside globally to commemorate the IYD and the theme for the 2018 edition of the celebration is “Safe Spaces for Youth”.

The celebration is used yearly by the United Nations to attract public attention to the challenges, issues and contributions of young people. This year 2018 like the previous ones followed the script. Akinlaja’s statement which was officially signed by his media aide, Mr. Emmanuel Ajibulu, reads,

”On this designated day (August 12, 2018) for the acknowledgement of the limitless capabilities and capacity of the youth, it is my wish to gladly throw my weight behind all the brilliant initiatives of the Nigerian youths among their contemporaries all over the world.

Nigeria’s situation is agreeably more peculiar; a developing nation trying to keep pace with the unprecedented spate of technological turnover from the most advanced countries of the world, making it difficult to get the best of results expected from our physical and intellectual efforts in the global economic atmosphere. Yet, all these have not dwindled the entrepreneurial and intellectual spirit of the Nigerian youth, both within and outside the country, therefore it won’t be out of place to inspire the youth to do more in adding values in their respective endeavours.” He said.

Akinlaja who is equally House Committee Chairman on Petroleum resources downstream disclosed from an informed perspective. In his words;

”The theme by the United Nations for this year is ”Safe Spaces for The Youth”. This year’s central idea must have been carefully carved to acknowledge the fact that unavailability of adequate facilities and social unrest are deeply sapping the productive energies of our youth even when they are the soul and reflection of the viability of the society. Youthfulness comes with physical power and internal energy, a determination to change the world for better, fortitude to break all barriers and obstructions. Equally, youthfulness is a time that demands intuitiveness to learn from the experience and guidance of those who have passed that stage, especially with viable and indelible records.

This helps to minimize possible errors and achieving meaningful results for the society much better and faster than when unguided. Youthfulness demand responsibility as well as respect for the opinion and place of others in the society, from the infant to the elderly, A HEALTHY SOCIETY IS A COMBINATION OF ALL.” He maintained.

The statement continues, ”The wealth of the world today is produced mostly from the most developed nations, through the youth, only because there are infrastructures and formidable government institutions to aid the creativity of the youth. The world is waiting for the developing nations, especially Nigeria, and to achieve this, it requires a synergy of committed and productive minds across all age ranks with a common focus on building a creative environment that addresses our peculiarities, having shared responsibilities according to respective areas of strength and location, all for a common goal which is “a viable environment for the youth and other members of the society to realize their God given potential”, thereby creating wealth for the sustainability of the Nigerian economy and for foreign exchange.

”Safe Spaces for the Youth include physical spaces and beyond, especially a social space of psychological harmony; coexistence of divergent views and purposeful politics without bitterness. Political desperation has accounted for disturbing number of crises, hindering tranquility and societal progress in our society. The political offices we aspire are only for a period of time, not the end of life. We occupy them as a function of trust, and they are for developmental responsibilities. Even when these offices are actually important, a lot of other non-political opportunities are open to us every day to still impact the society and create a SAFE SPACES for the youth and the general populace. Accessing these opportunities is a function of our respective dexterity, creativity, sincerity and commitment. He added

The former NUPENG General Secretary also noted that the limitless opportunity in Information Technology which the youths are exposed to has profoundly given them an edge to explore their potentials legitimately and without barriers.

His words; ”In the heat of all the economic pressure militating against SAFE SPACES FOR THE YOUTH, a bridge building opportunity has made itself available in this generation unprecedentedly, it is the opportunity of the Information Technology. It is very possible today for you to stay in Odojomu in Ondo West Local Government and be providing paid services to clients and institutions in Britain and America LEGITIMATELY through the IT opportunities. Youths can now acquire skills and offer services on a whole number of internet based platforms like upwork.com, guru.com, freelancer.com, fiverr.com, indeed.com, and a whole lot of others, breaking away from local limitations and earning even in US dollars.

That is the emerging trend of jobs all over the world today and it is important for our youths, especially those not in the cosmopolitan cities, hence receiving less information, to deliberately brace-up to be technology-savvy, so as to be able to be counted among the beneficiary in Evolving Global Skill Market. It is all about capacity building, we can call to mind that His Excellency, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko organized a Tech-Entrepreneurship programme to build youths for these opportunities, collaborating with Microsoft and the Federal University of Technology Akure, many of the participants today are legitimate independent service providers online.” Akinlaja disclosed.

The lawmaker stressed further, ”In my capacity as a Federal Parliamentarian, I have organized various form of capacity building and skill development programmes which are largely relevant to our immediate environment to empower young people for independent economic activities and upon completion, I also supported beneficiaries with machines, equipment, automobiles, and financial aides to make them economically vibrant and self-reliant. Today and to the glory of God a number of our constituency youth have become fish hunters and not fish beggars.

It is my message to youths today not to be despair by immediate limitations, but to create more time for self-development by reading books that can guide their careers, getting trained in 21st century skills, opening their minds to accommodate diversity of views and culture, believe in themselves, strive to solve problems and create room for collaborations with all other age ranks in the society towards the overall developmental synergy for the entire Nigerian society. Congratulations for today’s meritorious event.” Akinlaja stated.