BusinessDay

Youths are veritable future to national development – Kumuyi

William Folorunso Kumuyi, the general superintendent pastor of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry (DCLM) has described youths as the fulcrum for national development of every nation.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the global youth convocation tagged IMPACT 2022, at Km 42, Lagos – Ibadan expressway on Wednesday, January 5, Kumuyi said that the youth of every nation is pivotal to the level of development such a nation will have per time.

“The youth population of any nation is pivotal to its development. The extent of development is inevitably dependent on how involved the youths are in the process.

“If the young segment of the population is to play the role thrust on them by God, as the veritable future of nations, they must be adequately equipped. This begins but is not limited to education in a formal setting.

“Equipping the youth means targeting their creative potentials, their enthusiastic energy, their capacity to attempt and adopt new ways of thinking. This is how change that works in societies is driven by the youth,” he said.

The general superintendent of DCLM reiterated that when the role of youths is left unnerved, or their involvement is not well targeted, the result is often not encouraging.

According to the former university don, “When this happens, youths often vote with their feet: they start fleeing the country. And those who are not fortunate enough to get out, or are limited by socio-economic circumstances, are thus forced into nefarious activities.”

Read also: Our youths & the search for elusive green pastures: Anywhere but Nigeria!

“This may partly explain the recent exodus of the youths, especially the very well educated, to other countries that have promised them better prospects. We must find a way of creating those good prospects here at home.”

“The basis for any progress is to show the youth that there are better ways to advance their interests, to deepen their involvement in the development of their nations, harness their creative energies, to advance their prospects, to become better prepared for the future.”

This he said is the idea behind IMPACT 2022, a 5 day programme designed for all categories of youths, ranging from young teenagers in secondary schools to students and recent graduands of tertiary institutions of learning, as well as young adult professionals.

The clergyman revealed that the reason for IMPACT was borne out of the fact that for so long, people, including governments have complained about the challenges they face in dealing with the youths, or their frustration in tackling the so-called “youth bulge.”

“We think that rather than moaning about the current situation, practical actions should be taken to seek a solution to the problem,” he said.

Ayodeji Olukoju, a distinguished professor of history, University of Lagos, in his keynote address said that the timing of this epochal event indicates the importance that the organisers of the event attach to the youth of all social and educational categories across the globe.

“This event is bound to be more impactful than the inaugural Success Academy for Youths (SAY), 2001 at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, and the Act Right programme of 2004 at the University of Lagos,” Olukoji said.

The pro-chancellor and chairman of council, Chrisland University, Abeokuta, Ogun State, said his remarks, entitled “Impacting the youth to transform our world,” reflect the views of a life-long teacher who has engaged generations of youth and who is also a biological, sociological and spiritual father to many members of this dynamic demographic.

“We live in a fast-changing world, full of uncertainty, and beset by global economic and social crises, not least terrorism, human, environmental and food insecurity, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which, hopefully, is in its final year.

“There is much to celebrate in the material progress wrought by technological changes and scientific discoveries in this age of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM). Yet, persons of faith and close watchers of events are alarmed at the steep decline in morality and sharp drop in church attendance,” he said.

Earlier, Sunday Oyediran, the national coordinator Deeper Christian Life campus fellowship, and the co-chair planning committee IMPACT 2022 in his welcome address said that the action packed programme which starts on Wednesday, January 5 to Sunday, January 9 is meant to give youths a new orientation in life.

Speakers for this special programme were drawn from different spheres of life such as Iyinola Aboyeji the general partner and co-founder of Future Africa, a platform that provides capital, coaching and community or mission-driven innovators. Ibukun Awosika a Nigerian business woman, motivational speaker, and an author, among others.

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