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Monday, June 12, 2017


Sometime in March this year, I got a message on whatsapp of how a Youth member – Abimbola Oladotun (Mrs) - organized a skill acquisition program for the youth in the community she served, somewhere in Ikorodu, Lagos. When I was watching the video, I could see the excitement on the faces of the beneficiaries.  

A Corp member organizing this? What about the working class people and Entrepreneurs?
She is not the first Corp Member doing this and she will not be the last, but my reason for using her as an example is because this is the most recent I’ve had.

Have you ever thought of empowering the youth around you? What plans do you have on youth empowerment in your world?

You might be saying, “my income is never enough for me or for my family and you want me to empower someone else.” The truth is even if you start earning 10 times of what you earn today, you’ll still need more money. Why not sacrifice a little of what you earn to assist someone to find his feet?

Someone said, “When you earn an income, you make a living; when you assist someone you make a life.” Please make a life. Making a life is posterity, which is far beyond prosperity. 

You’ll be amazed to know that someone has been looking for #5,000 (five thousand naira) for several months without succeeding, just to start a business.

Your budget shouldn’t be just for you or for you and your family. You need to reach out to others, no matter how small. 

I do not know how much you earn or your personal financial needs stirring at you, but I do know that with a steady income, you can reach out to someone else, no matter how small.  You can deprive yourself of some pleasure just to make a life

Now, let’s leave the issue of money. How many times have you given a good counsel to a younger person on being productive?  That is, on making the most of themselves. It is an established fact that everyone needs a counselor or a mentor. 

“My people perish for lack of knowledge”. Knowledge in the right direction is all they need and I believe you have it. An adage says, “What an elder sees sitting down, a child cannot see even if he climbs an iroko tree. Guide others with the experiences you have acquired thus far.

‘Some young ones are seriously hurting’. Some are on a cross road, standing in between 2-4 decisions as regards productivity. Your counsel might make a huge difference.  Some are confused and do not know they are actually confused. Your counsel will clear the rubbles surrounding them.  Some might be ‘heady’, a hand of friendship will make them listen and heed to your counsel.

There are some you need to force to listen to you, depending on the relationship you have with them. One thing is needful; don’t leave them to themselves. Don’t assume they know what they are doing.  Even those that seem to know what they are doing still need counsel for better decisions and actions.

Most of the social vices we see today are as a result of the young ones not having good counsel. You may be saying, “Their parents should do their job.” If I may ask: does an armed robber rob only in his family? Almost all of them do not even operate anywhere around their family members. So, who bears the brunt? Outsiders of course!

Whatever the difficulty is in getting across to them, your main focus should be on make a life.

For me, I think the problem with Nigeria is underemployment and not employment.
They are in your neighborhood, your place of worship, community, and your extended family. Show interest in them. Showing interest in them will go a long way in fixing them up. May be in a job, business or a Trade they never have thought of or may be ignorantly despising.

Rather than idling away while waiting for the ‘big jobs’ , your counsel can fix them up in a job/ business/Trade that can at least put food on their tables, so their level of dependency will reduce.

You may not have the time, but start the counsel with one person. Today, communication is a lot easier. You can communicate with him/her on phone or through the social media.
Your interest in them will make them accountable. When you’re accountable to someone you hold in high esteem, there are some vices you’ll never get involved in.

Encourage them to believe in themselves no matter the circumstance. Their circumstances have really trampled on their self-esteem. Make them understand how to take responsibility for their lives; it is in taking responsibility that they can come out of any negative economic situation. Teach them the dignity of labor and how to be independent.

Fine, you may have assisted some people in the past and it backfired on you. Just put it behind you. Some people you extended helping hands to in the past may have been ungrateful to you. Just do it and fix your eyes on God; He’s the only rewarder.

“He that lendeth to the poor lendeth to God.” I prefer God being indebted to me. I don’t know about you.

The skill acquisition program I used in my opening may not change the lives of all participants, but a child at least will be transformed and he or she will leave to remember that faithful day. We’ve had success stories of how some accomplished and great people became who they are through someone’s intervention in their past situations.

We are in the era of Enterprise Development & People Empowerment. Please don’t be left out and don’t sit on the fence either.

More and better businesses have to be established to address the ‘unemployment’ dilemma plaguing our generation. Do something to make a life!

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