A renowned Nigerian town planner, who is also the first female town planner in Africa, Mrs Catherine Kehinde George, has urged Nigerians, especially youths to go back to ‘the basics’ in order to make Nigeria great again.
‘The basics,’ according to her, are adoption of the mother tongue as first language, courteous and traditional way of greetings, fear of the Lord, respect for the elderly, appreciation of tradition and heritage, integrity and honesty.
She made the remarks during her paper presentation entitled, ‘Nurturing Children to Adulthood: My Experience, My Views’, at an event held at the Department of Town Planning, The Polytechnic, Ibadan on Tuesday,
George urged parents to impart to their children the values of tolerance, humility, integrity, diligence, respect for others and for constituted authorities.
“By the time a child becomes a teenager, he or she is already developing his/her individuality and personality. At this point, parents should start giving them leeway for self-development without abandoning them to the dangerous external societal pressure that may cause them to lose their values. Such peer pressure could result in drinking, smoking, drug abuse, prostitution, homosexuality, armed robbery, cultism, etc,” she said.
She also encouraged youths to embrace vocational skills like fashion designing, hairstyling, barbing, decorations and catering, and so on.
She cited her case as an example that all the time she was growing up, she wondered whether her mother was really her mum, as she found her too tough as she kept introducing her to various vocational skills.
She said when she became a parent, she realised the value of her mother’s toughness which was to prepare her for adult life. According to her, vocational skills come useful in supplementing or could be a major income in adult years.
At the occasion, George donated Town Planning books to her alma mater, The Polytechnic, Ibadan library, Town Planning Departmental library and gave prizes to the best male and female best graduating students at the National Diploma (ND), Higher National Diploma (HND) and Full Professional Levels.