Lagos – Mr Adewale Ajadi, Country Director, Synergos Nigeria says President Muhammadu Buhari is laying a foundation of fundamental changes that the nation has never known with his Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
Ajadi, who is the Keynote Speaker at “The Surge” Conference organised by the Transformative Leadership and Sustainable Development Initiative (TLSDI) on Thursday in Ikeja, Lagos, disclosed this.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that conference tagged: ” Harnessing Nigeria’s youth Bulge for Socioeconomic Transformation, was a closed gathering of young leaders across sectors, including young political leaders that emerged in the 2019 election.
“This President is laying a foundation of fundamental changes that we have never known in the history of this country. I think the current President is in the right way if we look at the economy recovery and growth plan.
“It sends out how we are supposed to be looking which is focusing on exporting and production locally rather than importing, looking at agriculture as a catalyst, looking at all other minerals and moving us away from oil-dependent economy to a largely diversified economy.
“But the government has to consciously work on bringing people at the bottom of pyramid together beyond ethnicity.
“We need to develop a system where our diversity is a sort of source of our strength and not a sort source of weakness,” Ajadi said.
According to him, in the fourth quarter of 2018, Nigeria had the first agricultural-laid expansion in 55 years or more, with the country exporting over N1 billion worth of zobo to Mexico.
“It has never been like this. So, there is something going on in this economy. In the short time, it is going to be painful but eventually our children will not suffer,” Ajadi added.
He highlighted various challenges facing the country and urged young Nigerians to rather than complain be solution providers.
According to him, the challenge facing the nation is the ability to utilise its demographic dividends to transform Nigeria into a prosperous nation that will serve humanity and deliver excellence in Africa.
Ajadi, who noted Nigeria’s population is increasing geometrically, expressed confidence that Nigerian youths are imbued with capacity to confront and solve challenges and make the country exceptional.
“Our solution for the future and for now are in the problems that we have. We should use the youth opportunity properly for Nigeria and the future.
“We spent a lot of time about the problems that we face rather than see it as opportunity. This is beyond government.
“We have a challenge in the way we use our ethnicity, we use it as source of conflict rather than source of opportunity to grow a nation.
“We compete when we should cooperate and we cooperate when we should compete. We should leverage on our diversity for productivity.
“We need to work on inclusive economy. The economy whereby we have a few rich people and many poor people is not sustainable. It will lead to destruction,” he said.
He said that the nation has the potential to leverage on the generation of young people for greater possibilities in the area of agriculture, industrialisation and technology for mass employment.
Executive Director, TLSDI, Mr Opeyemi Oriniowo, said the aim of the conference is to deliberate and develop, collect agenda that would advance the socioeconomic interest of Nigerian youth in post 2019 election.
“We are youth-led think tank, a Non Governmental Organisation focused on harnessing the youth bulge. The Surge conference is one of the interventions to give young people a voice and a living.
“We believe that as young people in post 2019 election, we must retain the space and cutting collaboration.
“The essence of this meeting is to collaborate and develop collective agenda that will advance the socioeconomic interest of young Nigerians nationwide,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Olusoji Adeniyi, the Co-Chairman of TLSDI said: “If we want to change the world we have to start within ourselves, within Africa. Young people are doing fantastic things around the world.
“Our leaders are very jittery now about what the young people can do and a lot more is still being expected in 2023.
“Ethnicity for instance is still an issue in the country. And when we are still battling with that, it has become obvious that we are yet to become citizen driven country.”
NAN reports that the conference witnessed a panel discussions on “Driving sustainable economy growth on the strength of young people” and “Praise Singers to Decision Makers-Setting the post 2019 Agenda”.
Source: Vanguard News Nigeria