Job Fair For Employability & Entrepreneurship Programme For Nasarawa Youths
REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO SAN, GCON, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE JOB FAIR FOR EMPLOYABILITY & ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAMME FOR NASARAWA YOUTHS ON THE 1ST OF DECEMBER, 2020
Let me commend the dynamic Governor of this State Engineer Abdullahi Sule and his team for this excellent innovation of this job fair for employability and entrepreneurship.
Your State is one of the few that has the Human Capital Development office, this definitely shows your concern for what is most important in any nation or any community of people and that is the people themselves. Their skills, the talents, potentials of the people, their health, prosperity and education, all of these is what is represented by the office of the Human Capital Development.
I commend you for this office, for the innovation and not just setting up the office, but ensuring that the office is ably managed by Habiba Balarebe Suleiman, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Human Capital Development and the focal person for human development.
The office has been able to not just setting this up, but ensuring that we’re able to see actual results and this afternoon we are celebrating those actual results of the 80 participants drawn from the 13 Local Government Areas of the State who have undergone 3 weeks of intensive training on communication and social etiquette, business writing, selling skills, work ethics, excellence in customer service, initiative and proactive thinking, team building and problem-solving and creative thinking.
Frankly, I think that you are probably one of the very best equipped group of people that you can find anywhere in the country today. This is to enable all participants to acquire skills that you need to commence the process of being the best employee you can be or entrepreneurs.
As I sat down, I thought what would be useful to me to do today, for a few minutes, is to share a few thoughts with you about what I think you ought to be thinking and what I think you ought to do.
These are a few things you mustn’t ever forget; the first is that you must always keep learning, be ready for the next opportunity and the only way is by being ready to learn and to keep learning.
Many times, we are very ambitious, all of us and I remember when I was about your age, I was very ambitious, thinking about so many different things, but I always found that the only people who ever got ahead were people who are ready when the opportunity struck.
Something happened to me many years ago when I was serving as head of department somewhere. There was a lady who was in that department, a lawyer and she came to me several times to tell me that her ambition was to study and get a Master’s Degree in Law from a foreign university. As a matter of fact, she told me she wanted to go to the US, but she had no money.
She was a very prayerful person; she prayed a lot and she would tell me every time that God was going to answer this prayer. One day, the U.S Embassy sent me a request to nominate two people to do Master’s Programme in the U.S and one of the courses that they offered was exactly what this lady was looking for.
They gave me 48 hours because the whole exercise closes in 48 hours and so very joyfully, I called the lady. I had one man and this lady to give the opportunity. She shouted God had answered her prayer and we are very excited. I said to her to bring her passport so that we could send it to the embassy, however, she said she had no passport!
We started trying to get a passport but anyway, to cut a long story short, the passport didn’t come out in the 48 hours and she couldn’t attend the programme. She missed the opportunity and the other man, at least had a passport and he was able to make it.
But it taught me an important lesson and I hope it taught her a lesson too, that with all the prayers, the ambition, the great thoughts in the world, if you are not ready when the opportunity comes, you are going to miss it and it will be your fault. You won’t be able to blame anyone and that is why constant learning and exposure to learning is important and today, the opportunities are many.
The second thing I want you to remember is that integrity is key. Now when people talk about integrity, they think it is just about people advising you, to be honest, maybe it’s nice, to be honest, and it’s a godly thing, but let me tell you what the truth is, and it is that integrity pays. In other words, if you happen to be a person who can be trusted, you will go places because everybody in the world, even thieves are looking for honest people to keep their money away.
Do you know that everybody in the world is looking for an honest person? So, if you can be honest, if you can show those who employ you that you can be honest, trust me, you will go places. I have far too many examples, I won’t waste your time with that.
The third thing I want you to take note of is that the richest people, the most successful people are those who add value and solve problems.
A farmer who is farming cocoa for instance, or a cassava farmer will be okay, but he won’t be the most prosperous person. The person who will be most prosperous is the one who can process that cocoa and make it into chocolate or who can process that cassava into various things and sell it. You find that the richest countries in the world are not the countries that have the produce, they are the countries that process the produce and solve the problems. So, transpose that to yourself; is not enough to just have ideas, it’s not enough to just support, it’s important for you to look for a way of adding value, look for a way of solving a problem.
The fourth thing I would like to tell you is to be wary of some people who keep talking about the good old days. There are some people who will tell you that in our own days, it was so easy to find employment and easy to do everything. Let me tell you something about such people, their problem is that they have a bad memory. Anyone who remembers well will know that there is no such thing as the good old days. Every generation has its challenges, but your generation is the best generation, the most advanced generation in human history and I am not saying this to flatter you.
There is no generation that is as advanced as this one in human history. How many of you have smartphones? All the participants have phones. Let me tell you about the smartphones that you are carrying, in 2012 a gentleman called Fareed Zakaria, a CNN journalist made a fascinating statement to the 2012 graduating class of Harvard. He said that the smartphones that the young men and women in the room had in the hands had more computing power than all the computing power in the Apollo aircraft that landed the first men on the moon.
I met Fareed again in 2019 and I reminded him of what he said and he said the smartphones now have a 100 times more computing power than the Apollo spacecraft that landed people on the moon.
What you have in your hands alone is more than the technology that took people all the way to the moon and you have that in your hands today. And somebody wants to remind you of the days of the black and white television and tell you that those were the good old days when we didn’t have social media.
Let me tell you what, there are people who are of my age or possibly older, who when they heard their phone ring, would dance because they thought it was a song, they didn’t know that it was a phone ringing. They had never seen a phone before, but you have phones and you have all sorts of things. Technology is available for you; your generation is the smartest that has ever lived and we are holding our breaths for what you will achieve.
For all who are here today, I think that with all the training that you have gotten, this is the beginning of an incredible journey in success for you and I pray that you will excel and exceed all of our expectations for you. I pray that God will bless you, whenever we hear about you, we must always hear the best news.
Today, we were at the infectious disease hospital where we saw state-of-the-art equipment. The very best infectious disease hospital in West Africa is right here in Nasarawa State. It’s here so the possibilities are limitless.
I want to challenge you to do the very best you can, go beyond the skies, go make sure that you achieve all the best that you can.
God bless you.