The President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Sunday met with the Obama Foundation Leadership Programme winners in Lagos to discuss youth entrepreneurship and job creation.
The meeting was an interactive session between the Senate president and the emerging leaders who cut across all sectors of the economy, including education, entertainment, finance, new media, renewable energy, entrepreneurs and health.
The meeting was attended by several young business owners and policy advocates, who discussed the bottlenecks involved in youth advocacy.
Ebuka Obi Uchendu of Multichoice Africa; Oluyemi Ayeni, the founder of Pearl recycling; Moses Enoleka, the CEO of Sonicare, and a host of other emerging leaders in business were in attendance at the interactive session.
Oluwaseun Ayodeji, the Executive Director of the Stand to End Rape, started the session by talking about sexual harassment in the workplace and society.
Ayodeji advocated for quick passage of the sexual harassment bill in the Senate.
Saraki told the team of the passage of the Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Institutions Bill that criminalizes the practice in higher institutions.
He promised to engage the House of Representatives to expedite the passage of the Sexual harassment Bill and the Gender Equality and Opportunities Bill.
Saraki engaged the young leaders about the importance of creating opportunities by bridging the gap between the private sector and governance.
All the attendants talked about sector peculiar issues.
From poor education curriculum to the ease of doing business, access to credit, poor infrastructure, Nollywood grant, bottlenecks in exportation and high tariff for renewable energy were discussed.
The attendees discussed possible solutions to the peculiar problems in their sectors and implored the Senate president to follow up on the recommendations.
On Education, Femi Taiwo, the Executive Director of LEAP Africa, discussed the importance of changing the school curriculum and improving access to e-learning.
Taiwo discussed the possibility of the National Universities Commission recognizing e-learning initiatives much more and to improve teacher training.
The young leaders advised that the multiple agencies in charge of exportation be collapsed into one that can supervise and ensure transparency to reduce the bureaucracy involved.
Commenting on the meeting on his social media account, the President of the Senate said (https://twitter.com/bukolasaraki/status/1023570549287596033?s=12):
“I had a great time discussing new ways of making progress in our economy over breakfast with the Nigerian cohort of the Obama Foundation Leaders Program.
“We had an interesting session exploring innovative ways to tackle issues like ease of doing business, progressive leaderships at MDAs through oversight, and our education curriculum.
“It is always refreshing to meet with forward-thinking and vibrant minds who have fully committed themselves to influencing national policy and taking advantage of legislative actions to further their combined agenda.
“I am committed to follow-up with industry specific hearings to produce an action plan.”