The Nigerian youth need to be more creative and enterprising to improve the economic and political landscape of the country, Peter Okoye of the P-Square fame has said.
Okoye, a hip hop artiste, now popularly known as Mr P, made the assertion when he spoke as a Guest Speaker at The Future Awards Africa reception for the nominees of the 12th edition on Friday in Lagos.
The award is organised by a Foundation, The Future Project, with support from the Ford Foundation, GTBank and 7up Bottling Company.
Okoye, who is also of the P Square musical duo, said there was the need for youths to harness their personal and business skills to make them less dependent on a government that is challenged.
He said: “There is need for Nigerian youths to develop their knowledge, attitude and skills and explore opportunities with their God-given talents.
“The youths are the leaders of tomorrow and a lot depends on their present output.
“While the societal, economic, political, and governance outlook appears dim, the youth should not be discouraged because amid all, there are still some youths that are making positive impact.
“I have passed through this level before in my career; we were nominated in the second edition of this project and we won.
“The truth is that we are the future.
“The young generation should come out and rule their world positively.
“They should come and start doing things for themselves and not always wait for the government.
“Sometimes, we depend on our government and we become so lazy.
“Make an impact for yourself.”
Also, Bukola Adebakin, the Chief Operating Officer for The Future Project, told NAN that there were young people doing remarkable exploits in their fields.
Adebakin said: “It is wonderful that beyond the challenges and issues that we have in our country, in spite of the harsh economic landscape, insecurity and uncertainties, we have enterprising and creative young people that are breaking grounds and taking initiatives to make their communities and our country better.
“We have a 21-year-old pilot in the nomination category this year and in fact, many 18, 19, and 20-year-olds who are doing amazing stuffs nationwide.
“This goes to show that our youths can do more; they should channel their energies into positive things, they should avoid violence and over dependence on the government.
“On the part of the government, the citizens deserve to live better lives; the environment should be conducive and enabling for businesses to thrive and for talents to blossom.”
On the project, Adebakin said: “The Future Awards Africa is to celebrate and spotlight outstanding young Nigerians between ages of 18 and 31.
“This is our 12th year of running this award programme.
“We have been doing this in Africa as whole, but since last year we decided to be going from country to country, from Nigeria to Ghana and other countries.
“So far, it has been spotlighting young people who ordinarily will not be recognised for what they have been doing.
“We have 21 categories, some of which include the Future Awards Prize in Education, which is endowed by the University of Sussex, the award for Enterprise, Public Service, Media and Fashion categories.
“Some nominees will be supported in media and in training, while some will be given cash prizes just to help them enhance what they are doing.
“The winners will be selected at an event that will hold later in the month.”
One of the nominees, Victor Osemeke, who is into shoe making, told NAN that he was delighted to be nominated.
Osemeke said: “I am from Edo.
“I own Edo Shoe Manufacturing Company.
“I was nominated under the business category.
“I started my shoe manufacturing company since 2013.
“There have been lots of challenges, including lack of funds, encouragement and the likes.
“However, I am determined to succeed because I didn’t want to engage in any crime or vices.
“I thank God that today, the business has expanded, we have our permanent structure, people know us and patronise us.
“Most importantly, they attest that our shoes are of good quality.
“I thank the organisers of this programme for facilitating the nomination and I am hopeful that I will eventually be voted for the award.”