The HLF Round-Table was an exciting and educative segment of the HLF Young Achievers Awards Ceremony held on October 17, 2012 at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Lagos.
The discussions, flagged off by the First Lady of Lagos State, Her Excellency Dame Abimbola Fashola, were focused on the theme: “Positioning
Tomorrow’s Leaders to Achieve their Maximum Potentials”.
Highlights of Her Excellency’s presentation include:
- There should be more emphasis on technical and vocational education in Nigeria because the bright future of any nation depends majorly on technology.
- Nigeria needs skilful youths to fix the developmental challenges facing it.
- Today, many artisans can neither fix technical problems nor apply vocational skills anymore.
- In the past, youths who graduated from schools were hot cakes in the labour market; they looked forward to getting good jobs, but today it is hard to get youths with skills.
- Our present crop of leaders needs to invest in the youths.
- We need to invest in entrepreneurial education to improve our children’s opportunities and quality of life.
- We must be good role models to them. The most important change is the change of attitude and orientation. Our leaders should stop extravagant life-styles, and our country must be ready to start all over again, to embrace its national values and support the youths.
- The youths must rise to the occasion, and not lose hope. “You do not need to get to a position to lead, but be ready at any point to show the right path”.
- The round-table was anchored by Dr. Tonnie Iredia, lawyer and a former Director-General of the Nigerian Television Authority.
Highlights of the Discussants’ comments include:
- Chief Anthony Idigbe, SAN, & Principal Partner, PUNUKA Chambers [Attorneys & Solicitors].
- Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Where only a section of the society has access to development, it creates injustice to other sections denied.
- Parents have a lot to do to develop the potentials of their children.
- The role of Government is to create the right environment to give equal opportunities to every young person to achieve their greatest potentials through such schemes as scholarships and free education.
- The youths must also look for some value inside them; some higher vision, some dream that they want to pursue that then drive them to achieve success.
- Professor Sophie Oluwole, a Professor of Philosophy, and National President, Nigerian Philosophical Society.
- Society dies when excellence dies; when our values die, society dies.
- Every youth needs to ask him/herself the question: Who am I? Anyone who does not ask this question cannot make it.
- We must let the youths know the value of hard work. The only time a child can be termed a failure is when he/she cannot do anything successfully.
- If you want to be successful, do not blame the society; work on yourself!
- Dr. Pat Akumagbor, Principal Lecturer, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos.
- When you are challenged as a youth, you must work hard. I am telling the youths today, they can do it. All they need to do is have a focus, work hard and set goals — in five years, what do I want to have achieved?
- Identify a role model in the society; not the 419ers or those who make money through foul means, but those who have made it in life through genuine means, who have worked very hard. Identify them and work towards being like them.
- Our youths should also cultivate the habit of reading everyday, and pay less attention to negative social media.
- Mr. Michael Olowu, former President, Students’ Union Government, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos.
- What are the various potentials we are talking about? There are different people with different potentials and abilities.
- The youth is the architect of his own life. Anywhere he/she wants to reach in life will be determined by him/her.
- Parents have limited things to do in your life; they can give support, advice, prayer but the determination of what you want to become lies in your hands.
- We are the leaders of today and no more tomorrow. Work hard today, live your life today as if it were your last because tomorrow might never come.
- Youths believe in yourselves, believe in what you can do and do it.