By Rukayat Adeyemi
Lagos – Dr Folashade Ipaye, Registrar, University of Lagos, says the role of Nigerian youths as innovators and drivers of change can not be undermined in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).
Ipaye made the assertion at the 13th Graduation Valedictory of the Nigerian Tulip International College (NTIC), Ogun Chapter on Saturday.
She said that the career choices made by Nigerian youths had the considerable effect on the impact they make in actualising some of the SDGs.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the SDGs, with 17 agenda as proposed by the United Nations, are aimed at ensuring that the current needs of the society are met.
The desirable end result of the SDG’s is to achieve a state of society where living conditions and resources use continue to meet human needs without undermining the integrity and stability of the natural system.
Ipaye said that SDG’s were designed with a moral dimension that demands a great sense of responsibility from the leaders and followers.
She said that youths, who have started honing their entrepreneurial skills by setting up cottage industries were significantly impacting on eradicating poverty and keeping hunger at bay.
According to her, those who pursue courses like engineering, medicine, law and entertainment are in the best platform to support and raise the issues mentioned in the SDGs.
“By this, you will be contributing in one form or another to at least five of these sustainable goals such as industry, innovation and infrastructure, responsible consumption and production, decent work and economic growth among others,’’ she said.
The registrar noted that youths had the power to act and mobilise others for youth activism which was on the rise all over the world, bolstered by broader connectivity and access to social media.
She said that today’s youths were living in times where being a YouTuber could be a full-time job; space filled young content creators.
“Consider the likes of Chizi Duru, Seyi Classic and Kitaana among other Nigerians, all under the age of 27, serving as YouTube influencers and together they probably pool almost 500,000 subscribers.
“Five hundred thousand people listening intently to what they say and do in the comfort of their home, no prior training, just internet, a camera, YouTube account and video editing skills,’’ Ipaye said.
According to her, that is probably the most minimal requirement to start any job these days with people listening to their ideas than would ever possible in 9 to 5 job.
She urged the NTIC 2018 graduating students not to miss out on an opportunity to make history as they sojourn to a higher level of education and another milestone in life.
She advised the youth to take a stand on the positive side of history, be influencer and help attain some of the SDG.
Also, Dr Adeniyi Edwin of the Federal Government Girls School, Sagamu, said Nigerian youths faced tremendous challenges.
Edwin noted that educating the youth should be prioritised with the aim of reducing poverty.
He challenged the graduating students to avail themselves of the opportunity granted by the “Not-too-young to run” law by seeking leadership role and be drivers of change.
Mr Elcan Yilmaz, the Principal of NTIC, said the graduating students had been fully equipped to forge ahead in their academic careers.
Yilmaz said the graduating students started their academic journey in September 2012 and had contributed to the way some of the programmes in their class had been shaped.
“I believe they learned much from the school and the much they learnt would, by God’s grace, see them settling to the rigours and demands of tertiary education in any part of the world,’’ he said.
He named Ifolaja Busayo as the best graduating student for the 2018 set, adding that Busayo was offered 100 per cent free tuition to the Nile University of Nigeria.