Actualisation of Nigerian project rests on youth ― Minister

• Promises to facilitate campus radio for LAUTECH, donates computer sets

Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, has expressed confidence that the youth population has a huge role to play in actualising the Nigerian project which, he said, centres on development, just as he identified technology as a tool of development in the country.

Mr Dare expressed this in Ogbomoso on Saturday while delivering the 13th Annual Lecture of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso Alumni Association on the theme: “Constructive Youth Partnership in the Nigerian Project: a Sustainable Model”.

The minister, who avowed President Muhammadu Buhari’s priority to provide the capabilities for the Nigerian youths to thrive and excel, however, stated that Nigeria will develop if the country deals with fundamentals of socio-economic construct and political will. He added that sustainability models should be infused into government’s policies, initiatives and projects.

He said, “The country must first deal with the fundamentals of our socio-economic construct and political will to push through policies that are far-reaching. The narrative can begin to change if we infuse sustainability models into every policy, initiative and project of the government.”

He noted that, unlike the erroneous notion by some people, the youth have been contributing positively in their communities, demonstrating that youths are not a problem to be solved, but resources to be harnessed for the country’s development.

The minister who hails from Ogbomoso disclosed that Nigeria has huge talent and youth population that can employ their creativity to solving the country’s problems, adding that technology is also key in actualising the Nigerian project.

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“In the coming years, Nigeria will rely largely on its youth population to develop smart products and solutions to conquer the challenges and problems of climate change, economic downtown, unemployment and poverty. Equally, by infusing technology into vocational training, a large youth population can be drawn into vocational business activities”, he said.

Earlier, during his courtesy visit to the institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Ologunde, in his office, before he delivered his lecture, the minister vowed that he will initiate the process of facilitating campus radio to the institution.

He also donated a set of computers to the institution.

Professor Ologunde expressed the institution’s appreciation to the minister for deeming it fit to initiate the process of giving the school a campus radio.

The institution’s boss, however, charged the minister to intensify efforts that will find lasting solutions to the problems facing LAUTECH.

The university of technology, which was established in 1990 during the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida, is facing ownership crises and has witnessed incessant strikes due to non-payment of workers’ salaries.

Speaking on the crises rocking the institution, Mr Dare stated that he will send a team of consultants to the institution who will work out modalities to manage the crises with a view to finding lasting solutions to the lingering problems. He also promised to work on the legal documents of the institution with a view to running it in a legal manner.

In the welcome address earlier delivered by the National President of the LAUTECH Alumni Association, Mr Solomon Onilede, thanked the minister for the love he has for LAUTECH and its community. He said that choice of Mr Dare as the guest speaker of the event was borne out of his track record of achievements both in the public and private sector.

Onilede emphasised that since he assumed office as the president, the alumni association has been facilitating projects to the institution apart from the numerous achievement recorded within the powers and contributions of the body. He said that recently the association facilitated a 25 million naira e-library project to LAUTECH through an Ogbomoso philanthropist, Dr Samson Adegoke Maigida.

He, therefore, promised that the association under his leadership will not spare efforts at facilitating more developments, adding that the crises rocking his alma mater form part of his priority.

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