By Raheem Akingbolu
A Nigerian inventor and Managing Director of Port Harcourt-based Valec Electric Limited, Okwudili Ogbuenyi, has blamed the low productivity among young people in Nigeria to the growing culture of entitlement.
Ogbuenyi, who advised the youths to invest their energy in talent development and entrepreneurship, also insisted that they owed the society the debt of deploying their young creative energy into contributing to the advancement of their environment.
Speaking while being decorated as the Nigerian Youth Ambassador by the National Youth Council of Nigeria recently in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, in recognition of his inventions in the area of Electrical & Electronics Engineering, Ogbuenyi lamented the years of political sloganeering on youth empowerment. He said time has come for youths to take practical steps towards empowering themselves through knowledge-based self-improvement.
“We have been hearing about youths being the leaders of tomorrow since we were children. But my analyses show that even those who were youths at the time this insincere political rhetoric began, have grown into adulthood without a change of guard. If those that should hand the reigns of leadership to our fathers failed to do so and are still telling is that we are the leaders of tomorrow, it would be foolhardy for us to continue to believe this insincerity,” he stated.
The entrepreneur, who has inventions in the areas of power, security and home industrial automations said the only way today’s youths would be tomorrow’s leaders would be for them to assert their economic independence from politicians and become agents of Nigeria’s economic diversification.
“I sincerely believe the vision of a diversified Nigerian economy rests with youths. We have the travel and urban experience to deliver on this. The only thing we need do is stop believing that anyone else other than ourselves will do it for us. “The future of Nigeria is not oil. If you follow the developments in clean energy, you would realise that oil as a resource is imperiled already. The future of Nigeria is not politics; no matter how much they deceive you, please pay no heed to the brand of politics played in Nigeria.
“The future of Nigeria is you. You are the resources the country will need in the future,” he said.
Earlier during the presentation of the award, Secretary General of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Suleiman Abubakar, commended the awardee for distinguishing himself not only in the field of engineering and entrepreneurial development but also in philanthropy.
Suleiman said the NYCN was attracted by reports of the free training programmes organised by Valec Electric for Nigerian youths as well as the scholarship opportunities granted to young Nigerians by the awardee.