Becoming a youth development strategist
My journey to becoming a youth development strategist was informed by having a sense of purpose to further inspire hope as it relates to galvanizing a new set of young people who’ll rediscover themselves and be relevant to society.
What is the Made in Nigeria conference about? Give us a brief into what we should expect this year
The Made In Nigeria Conference & Exhibition is a one day social investment initiative under The Made In Nigeria Project that aims to empower young Entrepreneurs, MSMEs, start-ups, which are cardinal to our National aspiration towards self-sufficiency and overcoming the challenges of job creation & unemployment. This edition would focus on ‘Made In Nigeria’ as the new economic frontier, as well as to project Nigeria’s growth trajectory and the opportunities that thrive and abound. Also, to build the requisite steam towards national transformation with focus on the economy, policy, innovation, trade, job creation and employment including SME growth.
How was growing up like for you and how has it influenced where you are today?
Growing up was quite memorable and has shaped me into the greater person I’ve become. Growing up on Lagos Island further inspired me into evolving into a success story as I understood that I could be a reference point and a beacon of hope to other young people who aspire for true greatness.
When and why did you begin MINC? What is it out to achieve?
The Made In Nigeria Conference was birthed in 2012 with our first edition hosted in 2013. It seeks to influence the emergence of young leaders who’ll tell their stories the Nigerian way, given the hope in our collective future. Furthermore, this initiative seeks to facilitate a practical exchange of ideas and to also redefine narratives about Nigeria.
Share on your experience as Special Assistant strategy and research to Chairman, House Committee on Wealth Creation & Employment, Lagos State House of Assembly
It was quite challenging at the start when I took up the role owing to the age factor but, I was already grounded at the grassroots and that aided a smooth working relationship with the constituents. I had built capacity overtime with projects relating to civil engagement & corporate Governance so, I knew what to expect. Major challenge was having every decision making process connected to politics. The experience was a major learning curve for me as to why more people should get into strategic roles in Government at various levels.
Meeting President Buhari
Having just won the election at the time, he understood the critical role the youth played towards his emergence as President and felt a need to further engage a selected delegation of young Nigerian leaders cut out from different sectors who were promising and were doing excellently well in their fields and sought ideas and thoughts on issues bordering on national growth & advancement as well as our expectations of his administration.
Encountering Vice President Yomi Osinbajo
It was a private meeting related to our build up to The Made In Nigeria Conference & Exhibition 2016, the need for Government support as well as talks on our initiative and project in its entirety.
Would you say the government is giving enough attention to the youths who are vulnerable to negative influences in Nigeria today?
I believe the Government has often reiterated its position on initiatives created by it, to manage the causes of negative influences through its innovative job creation and employment initiatives, So, I’d say they’ve done fairly well in this regard.
Where do you see yourself in few years from now?
In a few years from now, I will be one of Nigeria’s finest, most promising emerging leaders playing a pivotal role in its growth and development. More so, I’d be recognized to have offered myself in service to influence, create and proffer lasting solutions that’ll trigger real change, add value, challenge and redefine narratives, make a difference that would bring about the positive turn around Nigeria desires in policy making, governance and major sectors that define leadership and its connect with the African people at large. I seek to inspire generations across continents, one project at a time with enduring legacies.
How can the youths be positively engaged?
The youths can be positively engaged through innovative platforms as The Made In Nigeria Conference & Exhibition and also through also social development and empowerment initiatives that focuses on value addition and self-sustainability.
What are your challenges?
Prevalent challenges are mostly tied to funding and sponsorship from corporate Nigeria and Government support. There has to be mechanisms in place to further encourage Nigerians that their dreams, goals and aspirations are valid on Nigerian soil with the celebration of excellence as synonymous with the national identity.
I’m Proudly Nigerian, I believe in Nigeria, and I am Made In Nigeria!