The founder of Pro-Value Humanity Foundation Dr. Obiora Okonkwo has charged the youths of Anambra state to shun cultism, sports betting and other vices but should embrace skills acquisition.
He urged the youths to channels their energy, talent and time on skills as a way out of unemployment and a means of eradicating poverty in the country.
Dr. Okonkwo who gave the charge at the weekend while presenting a key note address at the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2019 International Youth Day (IYD) at the Shanahan hall, Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha, Anambra state, told the youths to look in ward as a change agents.
According to him, “skill acquisition is the key to youth development, stop killing yourselves in the name of cultism, be meaningful to yourselves channel your talent, time and energy on something that can change your life not sports betting. Don’t be nuisance to the society but try to add value to yourselves. Skill acquisition is not only making soap, cake, clothes etc it is beyond that”.
Okonkwo who is also the chairman of Dome event centre, Abuja told the youths that he shared in their problems and passion, and warned them not to wait for the government to provide everything for them but should engage in meaningful skills in order to add value to their lives, saying that most people that made it in the world today did it in their youthful ages.
“The only way out of poverty which is the number one goal of SDG which means there must be skills, skills all over the places and when I mean skill it doesn’t have to be only lower part of skill, I believed that anything you can do by yourself that is knowledge based, it’s the skill you have, it could be skill to take a man to the moon, it could be skill to just make small pot of soup or soap, it doesn’t matter”.
“This is something that you can put together with your knowledge then if you are looking for support or investment then you can expand and that is wealth creation and people will begin to join that is employment, so, it has a future effect and it has a multiplier effect, it goes round and round, and anything outside that is poverty alleviation.
“I called on those that are in charge to live up to the goals and target of 17 SDG goals to ensure that by 2030 we should not be talking of poverty not in Anambra state and not in Nigeria as a whole, the greatest of percentage of poverty known all over the world is in the sub sharan Africa while Nigeria has a greater percentage of it and that is why we should eradicate it with skill acquisition, skill based education, curriculum that must have to be changed to enable it to be more than theory that is what we need to take us there”.
He said that his foundation is partnering with some technological based institutions in the state to develop a skill for the youths, saying that soonest Ogidi Boys secondary school would be upgraded to a polytechnic through the permission of Archbishop of Onitsha, Bishop Valerian Okeke, while its partnering with UNIZIK and Paul university to develop skills for the youths.
“My advise to the youths is that God help those who help themselves, they should sit back and wait government to do everything for them. When late Prof Chinua Achebe wrote ‘Things Fall Apart’ at the age of twenty he didn’t tell us in his life story much government did to him, I’did not know how government helped him, when the founder of Facebook and rest of them when they did their own I don’t know what government helped, the only I know is that no matter how much talent you have, no matter hard working you are if there is no enabling environment for you to able to show your skill it will surely affect you, that might the case the youths are going through but my advise is no matter how hard it is, no matter how difficult it is don’t say no, if you fall down ten times, wake up ten times until the time you are able to get to your destination.
“More importantly our educational curriculum must have to be changed, it has been technological based, the state don’t need the federal powers to do it, it has its powers to do it because things are changing in the world and we have to change our own system of education to meet up others and the challenges therein” Okonkwo stated”.