The Chairman, Vitafoam Nigeria Plc, Engr Dr. Bamidele Makanjuola has advised older professionals to tap into creative energy of young people and not fear irrelevance because without doubt, the elders will continue to remain relevant and respected. Isqil Najim, reports.
He said this during the 13th edition of Olu Awonyinfa Distinguished Annual lecture which held on Friday June 17, 2022 in Lagos. While reminiscing on the life and times of late Engr Olu Awoyinfa, the founder of Ikeja Branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE, Dr Makanjuola said Awoyinfa lived in a such a way that his memory remains indelible among all he came in contact with.
People will come and go in your life but the right ones will always stay. In my life, Engr. Awoyinfa has turned out to be one of the right ones.
Dr. Makanjuola, while delivering the Keynote address at the event said that the “bane of our society is that the traditionally older generations continue to deny contributions from younger generations in matters of societal development.” he said that many elders see their advise as cast in concrete and thus reduced the youth “to the proverbial monkey who hears nothing, says nothing, and does nothing.”
Makanjuola emphasized that “no society can make progress in real value without the injection of the energy and creativity of their youths.” He recalled many of the great men in history made their marks while in their youth. He described late Awoyinfa as “a passionate leader of the youths.” who in his lifetime encouraged young people to have plans and visions for future.
Speaking on impacts late Awonyifa as a role model, he said that a generation of youths who cultivated the habit of forming a crowd around him can always count on him despite his busy schedules. “To his credit, without an ounce of discrimination, he made out time for us all. He did not fail to leverage his influence and connections in advancing the corporate climb of many of his mentees.”
“Looking back, I would say my greatest admiration for Engr. Awoyinfa is premised on his lifelong commitment to nurturing young professionals, mostly engineers, to attain successful positions either in government or corporate settings.” -Dele Makanjuola
“There is a theory which claims that man is at his creative best between 25 and 45 years and strongest between 25 and 32 years. So what are we, as a nation, then doing with this mountain of potentials among us?” He queried.
On national development, Makanjuola lamented that the country is yet to tap into the creative energies of our youths while silencing brilliant and energetic ones who can dream up creative solutions. He regretted that the nation keeps waiting on those who are over 70, to proffer solutions.
He observed that Nigeria has started “keeping company with several hitherto successful countries and organizations; which at their peril, have started to neglect their youths.” He pointed out that some of those countries are in their early stages of decline with majority of their legislators in their 70s and 80s and the average age of their president slowly climbing to 80.
Advising fellow elders, Makanjola said “our role as leaders is not just to criticize the laissez-faire approach of our youth to life and impose our ways and solutions on them. On the contrary, we must get to work creating the right environment which enables them become timeless heroes. It is important I add that the grey-haired like myself must not fear irrelevance because without doubt, we will continue to remain relevant and respected. However, we must contain our relevance within the arena of dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. Yes, as we the elders beat the drums, the youths are to be given the wide-open space to display their dance steps.” He concluded.
Earlier, the Chairman of the branch Engr Olutosn Ogunmola while delivering his address, commended the foresight of the founders of the Branch and praised his leadership roles in nurturing the Branch. Also speaking at the event was Engr Felix Atume, who represented the President of the Nigerian society of Engineers, Engr Tasiu Saad Gidari Wudil at the event.
The Lecture topic for the day, “Transportation Systems and Security Challenges in Nigeria: Causes and Engineering Solutions Imperative” was delivered by Prof. Bamidele Badejo.
Dignitaries at the events include the Past President of NSE, Engr. Ademola Olorunfem, Engr Felix Atume, NSE Vice President, North Central, representing the NSE President, Engr Christy Adelowo, Honorary Secretary, Nigerian Academy of Engineering, Professor Bamidele Badejo, Guest Speaker, Engr Monsurat Alagbe, APWEN lagos Chair, Engr Abiola Koseigbe, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Rural Development, Engr Theophilus Oguntala, Engr Idiat Amusu, Forth President APWEN.
Others are Past Chairmen of the Branch Engr Francis Oguanaman, Engr Kunle Adebajo, Engr. Micheal Awe, Engr Bola Bido, Engr Ayo Fanimokun, Vice Chairman, Engr Femi Adedotun among others
By Isqil Najim (@isqilnajim)