The Executive Secretary, Niger
He gave the charge while delivering the keynote address at the Junior Chambers International(JCI) Nigeria Senate Association Leadership Excellence for National Development (LEND) Webinar Series held on Saturday in Lagos.
Speaking on the topic “Leadership, Youth, Entrepreneurship & Regional Cooperation – A National Perspective,” he charged youths to channel their anger against challenges in the country by innovating solutions and enterprises that would address such problems, adding, “feel free to complain bitterly about any situation you don’t like, but also put on you thinking cap make money out of it in a legitimate way.”
Executive Secretary recommended that “whether it is the nuisance of mosquitoes, the disgust you feel when you see heaps of refuse or pot-holes on our streets, or developing car-pooling app to decongest the road of too many vehicles, I encourage you to see every challenge or problem as an opportunity to wear your entrepreneurship cap to help humankind in your own little way and also prosper while solving the problem.”
He also charged youths to pursue their passions and avoid the crowds that complain about everything without proffering any solution, adding that such a disposition will only drag one into depression.
Speaking further, Wabote canvassed that for any society to avoid falling into decline, the mantle of leadership and entrepreneurship should fall on the youths from time to time. “It is the ideas and energy of the youth that enables us to do some amazing things today such as being able to connect with someone in the other end of the globe within seconds,” he added.
Discussing leadership, he advised individuals needed to cultivate leadership qualities to succeed in different endeavours of life, stressing that one did not need to be a political leader or a senior government official to demonstrate leadership qualities. He listed some of the attributes that would position a leader to achieve successful outcomes to include integrity, self-awareness, skilled communication, effective delegation and learning agility. Other qualities include shared vision and empathy.
The NCDMB boss stated that Nigeria’s youth population is estimated to be over 55 percent of the entire 200 million population. He posited that the teeming youth population underscored the need for most Government policies to be centred on youths as they are the largest demographic group among the entire Nigerian population.
He charged government and other groups like the JCI, Boys Scout, the Rotaract, and others to develop new strategies that would keep the large number of Nigerians youths engaged in useful activities and and attract them into their fold.
Dwelling on entrepreneurship, Wabote indicated that entrepreneurs, especially the small and medium scale enterprises are the backbone of all thriving economies across the world. He noted that 96 percent of all businesses in Nigeria are owned by SMEs, and they are responsible for 84 percent of employment and contribute 48percent to the national Gross DomesticProduct (GDP) of Nigeria.He added that the business environment in Nigeria is free and fertile for entrepreneurs and beckoned on youths to conceptualise business ideas that would thrive in the economy.