This Day (Lagos)

3 February 2013

Nigeria: Youths Blame Leaders for Nation's Backwardness

Stakeholders and youths at the Annabel Leadership Academy have examined the current state of affairs in Nigeria and stated that the country's leaders are to blame for the recurring woes. They said this at the Annabel Youths Leadership Entrepreneurship Seminar held at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, on Thursday.

Those present at the occasion were the Vice Chancellor of UNN, Prof. Bartholomew Okolo, and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ifeoma Enemuo, among other academics and motivational speakers.

Leading the discourse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Annabel Group and Annabel Leadership Academy, Mr. Nicholas Okoye, said that the youths could no longer continue to complain, but have decided to take destiny into their hands since Nigerian leaders have failed them. He said, "Our leaders are so corrupt that the number one problem in Nigeria now is corruption.

We (the youths) have chosen to solve that problem and if we do, every other problem would have been taken care of. "Therefore, we don't want to sit down and proffer solutions to the problems in Nigeria, but we want to solve the problems." He said, "One way in which we are going to solve the problems is by empowering Nigerian youths with entrepreneurial skills so that they can survive on their own with relying on non-existing jobs in the private sector, or having to steal or depend on government money for survival."

Talking to youths who so desire to work in government and private sector establishments, Annabel boss said it is not the role of government to create jobs, but advocated that government must provide an enabling environment for jobs to be created.

"Let government create the enabling environment, then the private sector will create the jobs," he noted.

He said, "But the enabling environment is not on ground because our leaders are so embedded in corruption and until the reverse becomes the case, the private sector would not be able to create jobs."

Okoye, however, added that the over-reliance on the private sector for jobs or job creation was not realistic, as the private companies could only provide jobs for a fraction of the unemployed class.

He said, "How many people can the banks and telecommunication companies employ?

"The entire population of MTN staff strength is not more than 5, 000 employees. If you put the staff strength of the entire telecommunication companies in Nigeria, it is not more than 15, 000, yet we are graduating more than 1, 000, 000 people every year."

He added, "Last year (2012), no oil company was drilled. It is only when the oil companies are carrying out an oil explorative service by way of well drilling that they employ.

"So we must not wait for these companies to provide jobs, we must take our destiny into our hands."

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