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    Youths and Young Engineers have been advised to shun crime and every sense of Get- Rich- Quick syndrome by first acquiring useful knowledge and experience through patience. This was conveyed at a Symposium organized by the Young Engineers Forum of Nigeria (NSE) Lagos Branch.

    The lecture which was organized in collaboration with the National Youth Council of Nigeria (Lagos Chapter) and the Ministry of Youths and Social Development Lagos State was held as part of efforts of the young engineers of the Branch led by Engr. Rankins Oguara; advocates Youth inclusiveness in governance.

    The Lecture titled: ROLES OF YOUTHS IN NATION BUILDING “YOUTH INCLUSIVENESS PANACEA FOR NATION BUILDING AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT’’ had, Mr. Segun Dawodu, Hon. Commissioner for Youths and Social Development Lagos State as the Keynote speaker: Who sent in words of encouragement for the Youths. Also in attendance were the Guest Speakers: Mr. Lekan Fatodu- Senior Special Assistant to the Lagos State Governor on SDG’s, Hon. Owolabi Jamiu Falana- SUBEB Board Member, Mr. Ajewole Emmanuel Odunayo- Mr. Nigeria International, Comr. Lekan Biliamin Sulaiman Oba NYCN Chairman Lagos State.

    The Guest Speaker, Mr. Lekan Fatodu commended the Young Engineers for the wonderful initiative of organizing the symposium and it was in line with the SDG’s. He said it was a testament to the fact that the youths have all it takes to answer some of our difficult development questions.

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    Mr. Lekan Fatodu who encouraged the young Engineers said they have the numbers, capacity, and intellect to foster sustainable development and that all of these should be effectively galvanized towards achieving a better and greater tomorrow for everyone.

    The NSE Chairman, Engr. Kunle Bello in his welcome address appreciated Exco, members and
    Guest speakers for attending the event. He affirmed hope that the facilitators would do justice to the “Topic” for the Youths to be encouraged. He said, it was imperative to join hands, both the old and the young to look at our challenges and the way forward.

    In his address, the NYCN Chairman, Comr. Lekan Biliamin Sulaiman Oba commended the
    leadership of the Young Engineers Forum of Nigeria (NSE Lagos Branch) for organizing the
    program. He said the electioneering period is always an opportunity to reflect on our Nation with regards to where we are coming from, where we are now, and where we are heading towards.

    Mr. Lekan reiterated the motto of the Youth Council that says “Build the Youths, Build the
    Nation’’ means that whatever is going to happen to our country tomorrow lies on the shoulders of the young generation. Which meant; whatever policy or projections our leaders are looking at, they must ensure that it is Youth inclined and carry the Youths along.

    He admonished the youths to be prepared to take over leadership from the older generation at the right time by continually developing themselves.

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    The Second Speaker Mr. Ajewole Emmanuel Odunayo- Mr Nigeria International appreciated the honor for being a speaker: He spoke about different opportunities to speak on the roles of youths in Nation building.

    He lamented the rate at which vibrant youths leave the country and proceeded to reference Kofi Annan “Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. If, however, they are left on society’s margins, all of us will be impoverished. Let us ensure that all young people have every opportunity to participate fully in the lives of their societies’’.

    He said he felt the youths have been neglected and their courage has been broken, because he had been there before. He said there was a time he ran into depression when he realized everything was going in the opposite way despite being a graduate who has served and had a business, but the state of the Country wasn’t encouraging.

    Mr. Ajewole said now is a wakeup call (it is Youth O’ Clock) and that His definition of Youth isn’t by age or how old you are but by what you have to offer the community. He said there are Youths who think like the older generation while there are some older ones who still act like youths based on the way they think and their prospects for the community.

    He challenged young Engineers on invention and creating solutions to the challenges faced in the society citing that other countries do better because of the civilization, invention, and technology that they have. He said hardly do we see something being invented in Nigeria but when our Engineers relocate abroad, they do awesome things.

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    He talked about Youth inclusion in politics. The role of the Youth in achieving robust and sustainable National growth are enormous. He encouraged the youths to pick active parts where they are sure their impacts are being felt and will make a change in that aspect. He said poverty makes the youths feel less of themselves and think they are not worthy to compete with youths in other countries.

    Mr. Ajewole further said that the statement “THE YOUTHS ARE LAZY’’ doesn’t mean they are not hardworking but that the Youths need to fight for POWER because power is not given on a platter of gold.

    In Conclusion, he said Youths are the driving energy in Nation Building and it is important to ensure youths have the necessary condition to develop at their pace, taking responsibility, broadening, and expanding their participation in Social Economy, Cultural politics development

    The chairman NYCN, Mr. Lekan Biliamin Suleiman started by saying he doesn’t support the idea that a certain generation doesn’t allow the younger generation to come onboard. He said if you have something to offer and add to the system, that there’s no way those at the helm of affairs would spot that challenge and ignore it.

    Mr. Lekan said that the major challenge we have is the problem of “sense of entitlement’’ where we believe that being a Nigerian means everything must come to our table, that we fail to realize that it is what we put into the system that the system is going to give back to us.

    Furthermore, Mr. Lekan challenged the young people to start seeing being a Nigerian as a Nigerian that wants to add value that believes he has a responsibility towards the development of the country.

    He encouraged the youths to stop criticizing and destroying the country because it will still come back to us. He said most of the things we see on social media are not the true reflection of what is happening in our country because most of them are propagandas and are destroying the country.

    He said the two major problems we are facing are Security and Economy but that this isn’t only a Nigerian problem but a Global issue. He challenged the young ones to proffer solutions to the Economic challenges of the country rather than criticizing the Government at every given opportunity.

    He called on the youths to do a reality check on how they will fix the problem when given the
    opportunity because they are already leading in the different roles, they find themselves, whether in the field or classroom.

    In conclusion, he said that both the older generation and the younger generation have a responsibility. He said we need the knowledge of the older generation, and they need our energy, innovative ideas, and our new vision. When you take the good from both parties, we will have a Nigeria that works for everyone, stating that there is no perfect system in any part of the world.

    Hon. Owolabi Jamiu Falana, a SUBEB Board Member in his speech encouraged young people to not only be part of how our future is being shaped but also to be responsible citizens. He said that aside from the public sector, that even in the private sector, younger ones should pay attention to detail and have a delay in gratification mentality.

    Hon. Owolabi tasked the young ones to lookout for ways on how to reposition our society to get greater results. He encouraged the youths to always have information because most of the courses we are pursuing presently are not the courses of the next industrial revolution. He asked Young Engineers to acquire soft skills because they are things needed from 2025 upwards.

    Young Engineers were encouraged to position themselves to acquire those soft skills that will stand them out, he called it the Unique Selling Point (USP). He advised young people to be intentional by going after what they truly need to make the impact they desire.

    Finally, Hon. Owolabi encouraged the younger ones to not only have access to quality information but also contribute their individual quota towards the success of Nigeria and be responsible citizens by adding value wherever they find themselves. A Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and a Past Chairman of the Branch, Engr, Olatunde Jaiyeisimi FNSE, FNIOB advised Young Engineers on Mentorship by looking for older Engineers to learn from. He also decried the rate at which young persons are leaving the country and called on the
    Government to act immediately so that we don’t lose all our bright minds.

    The Vice Chairman of NSE Lagos Branch, Engr. Mrs. Korede Kesha FNSE told the youths that
    “there is time for preparation and there is need for preparation’’. She said when preparation and patience meet opportunity, the youths will be able to utilize and maximize their potential.
    Engr. Kesha decried the unpreparedness of the Youths to take over the mantle from the older ones because of the Get- Rich- Quick Syndrome. She said unlike before when people went after knowledge and experience, the youths these days are after money and are not patient to learn and gather knowledge.

    She said even though Youths are running out of the country, Foreigners are fighting to come into the country because there is a lot of potential in our Country. She called on NSE to do more for the Engineers and decried that Engineers were recently placed on level 09 as entry point against their contemporaries in other professions who are placed at level 10 and above.

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