Dr Abiola Oshodi, a psychiatrist doctor and philanthropist based in Canada has tasked Nigerian youths on steps to take, which are inculcated in the constitution towards the creation of a new Nigeria, which will also allow youth to an integral part of such process.
He said this during a webinar meeting on “The Role of Students in the Nigeria Society” being the virtual speech delivered by Dr Abiola Oshodi to the National Association of Ondo State Students on the 13th of March 2021.
In his words” the first steps are the creation of new and revived spirit in our students, a hope filled and optimistic vision of a better Nigeria, a new Nigeria that will work for us all and not a few of us.
This process, he said, must be nurtured while our leaders must live by example and such cannot be achieved by decree or by force but by being transparent with lots of moral persuasion, actionable programs, time sensitive road maps and blueprints and providing exemplary leadership at multiple levels.
According to him, one of the major crises facing our youths today is that of unemployment, with thousands of our university and polytechnic graduates searching for non-existent jobs, or when such jobs exist, our graduates lack the requisite skills required for such jobs.
To solve this problem, he said the youths need to retool and restructure the educational system and the contents of the syllabus to reflect and match up with what’s required us in various industries and employers of labour,”
In addition to training the youths with the mindset of being entrepreneurs and job creators right from school. Our governments and financial institutions must also evolve credit facilities that can birth and support our entrepreneurial youths especially in the early stages of starting their business.
Dr Oshodi said the youths must be trained and incentivised towards developing visionary mindsets at a very young age reinforced by being innovative and inquisitive as essential tools to thinking outside the box and being able to plan ahead and develop a globally competitive twenty first century vision.
The time is now and not tomorrow to audit, revisit and retool some of the courses offered in our higher institutions and identify the courses with the lowest chances of securing employment and if possible, eliminate or weed out such courses from our university and or polytechnic systems, so that our youths can be refocussed and redirected to courses where their education and skills are most likely going to guarantee them the means of livelihood, when they graduate.
In Nigeria of today, he said, not every job guarantee you your means of livelihood albeit your grades in the tertiary institution, but your level of creativity does matter a lot in the absence of being able to secure green collar jobs.
He however, mentioned that the concept of youth empowerment is an essential element in any development process in the society and thus empowerment is an important factor in any development program, Indeed, the empowerment of youths remains an important and critical component of sustainable development initiatives of Nigeria.
He said “I therefore like to seize this opportunity to acknowledge the NAOSS members and the executives of the National Association of Ondo State Students [NAOSS] present and my friend, the leader of the association who has in recent time drew my attention to the need to address our dear students and the youths of Ondo State in particular, and Nigeria in general and the general audience”.
He therefore encouraged students/ youths to continue to act as the bridge between the two major generations, i.e., the very young and the older generations.