From Imo …. to Ogun; Five Sessions, One Sermon: The “Hands on Skills Revolution”

In a progressive move to build the capacity of young Nigerians towards embracing radical change and innovation in preparation for the diversification of Nigeria’s Economy, the HANDS ON SKILLS Initiative was conceived. Following the successes recorded in Owerri, Umudike, Benin and Ekiti, the Grand Finale of the 6th edition of the Rise National Youth Forum (Ogun Session) was held on the 29th of May, 2014 at the Main Auditorium, Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State and it was indeed an educative, interactive and life transforming event.

The event which took place at the school’s Main  Auditorium had over 5,000 participants in attendance.

The event which was tagged “Nigeria Beyond oil” with the aim of making Nigerian youths see the need to embrace vocational skills instead of waiting for the unavailable white collar jobs, was graced by six Dynamic Mentors and two Young Entrepreneurs that included: Tunji Oyebanji – Managing Director, Exxon Mobil Nigeria Plc; Funke Opeke – MD/CEO Main One Cable; Yomi Fawehinmi – Head, Learning and Advisory, Chevron Nig. Plc; Gbenga Adeyinka the 1st – MC, Comedian and Md/CEO Laughter Incorporated Inc.; Ugo Obi – Chukwu – Head, Finance and Admin, Sahara Energy Group and Founder, Ugometrics.com;  Kunle Olaifa – Head, Human Resources, Samsung West Africa; Tosin Ajibade – Founder/CEO, Olorisupergal.com and Adenuga Adeniyi – Managing Director, Tepebo Farms. . Also Present at the event was  Mrs Ganiyat Olatunji (Wife of Ogun State Chief of Staff) representative of the Ogun State First Lady. 

This Session of the Rise National Youth Forum was divided into 3 interactive segments  which were totally centered on showcasing the various abilities of the Nigerian youth.

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Cross-Section of participants at RNYF 6 (Ogun Session)

These segments include:

STUDENTS’ DEBATE

The audience were thrilled to a wonderful yet very important debate session centered around the importance of acquiring a skill alongside their course of study in the Universities/Polytechnics/Colleges of Education. The topic for debate was “The Importance of Skill Acquisition in addition to Tertiary Education.” The Debaters comprising of four students spoke for and against the Notion. At the end of the segment Guest mentors took their turns to Advise Participants on the importance of Skill Acquisition in the reduction and complete eradication of the unemployment scourge being faced by Nigerian youths.

The First Mentor to Address this issue was Funke Opeke – MD/CEO Main One Cable. She spoke on the topic “Opportunities, Case Studies and Lessons in Nigeria’s Technology Business.” Her presentation was centered on the debater’s submission and she corrected some arguments made by them. She implored Nigerian youths to seek alternative means of employment(Skill Acquisition) as white-collar jobs are not available. In her words “Education shows the fundamental ways of how to solve problems, analyze situations and provide answers to trivial questions but it brings food to ones table in diverse ways when skills are involved.”

The Second Guest Mentor was Tunji Oyebanji – MD, Exxon Mobil Nigeria Plc. He spoke on the topic “Nigeria Beyond Oil.” Mr Oyebanji stressed on the need for everyone to acquire one or two skills as a student or working class, he used his personal experience as a point of reference. Mr Oyebanji said he joined Exxon Mobil in 1980 with a staff strength of 607 but currently they are less than 100 in number. He advised the participants to use their time wisely and connect with everyone they meet. In his words ” Whatever you hands can do is your ultimate salvation and door to success.”

The Third Guest Mentor was Kunle Olaifa – Head, HR, Samsung West Africa. He spoke on the Topic “Between Nigeria’s Human Resource and Oil Wells, how Creativity wins Capitalism.” In his words “What you engage in before graduation determines what you offer to organisations. Pick up a skill now and develop on it. If you want to be that special person, acquire a skill” He charged the participants to identify their focus area and work on it.

The Fourth Guest Mentor was Yomi Fawehinmi – Head, Learning and Advisory, Chevron Nigeria Plc. He spoke on the topic “Nigeria Beyond Oil.” Mr Yomi started his presentation by congratulating the students of the school for the privilege they have above students of other institutions because they are being taught the greatest skill of all i.e. Teaching. In his words ” Teaching is a skill. Teaching is the only profession that will never go out of fashion as it records the largest employment rate so far” He gave the participants tips for successful teaching. In conclusion he charged the students to embrace teaching and improve on this exceptional skill as it is known to open doors and in the end, a deep sense of satisfaction.

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Yomi Fawehinmi – Head, Learning and Advisory, Chevron Nigeria Plc delivering his lecture on Nigeria Beyond Oil at RNYF 6 (Ogun Session)

The Fifth Guest Mentor was Gbenga Adeyinka the 1st – MC, Comedian and MD/CEO, Laughter Incorporated Inc. He spoke on the topic “Deeper Knowledge and Structures as Drivers for the Advancement of Nigeria’s Entertainment Sector.” Mr Adeyinka took the first few minutes to do what he knows best before getting down to the business of the day. He said “My biggest regret as a Nigerian is that we discovered oil” He continued his presentation by listing four principles students need to follow for them to RISE.

R: Research and find your USP (Unique Selling Point).

I: Immerse yourself – Put yourself in what you are doing, build yourself and do not chase after money first.

S – See the Future.

E – Be EXEMPLARY

The second segment of the Program was the Skill Showcase Segment.

Various students of Tai Solarin University of Education came out in their numbers to showcase the products and services they offer as a result of the Skills they have acquired

Some of the Skills showcased were:

1. Garment Making.

2. Carpentry.

3. Fish Farming.

4. Art and Craft.

5. Soap Production

6. Air Freshener.

7. Dry Cleaning Services, among others.

The launch of Forcampus.com, the most Interactive Online Community for Nigerian Students was one of the highlights of the event. The launching was done by Yomi Fawehinmi and Olumuyiwa George (Project Manager of Forcampus.com)

The Sixth Mentor was Ugo Obi – Chukwu – Head, Finance and Admin, Sahara Energy Group and Founder, Ugometrics.com. He spoke on the topic “SME Growth, Best Practices and the right tools of trade in the Digital Age” He advised the students on the need to take advantage of their surroundings and make the most out of it. They should invest with the little they have and make sure to utilize every opportunity they come in contact with.

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Ugo Obi – Chukwu – Head, Finance and Admin, Sahara Energy Group and Founder, Ugometrics.com delivering his lecture on SME Growth, Best Practices and the right tools of trade in the Digital Age at RNYF 6 (Ogun Session)

The Third Segment which is the Skill Based Success Story Segment was about two young distinguished Nigerians who have been able to turn the skills they acquired into success stories.

The First Youth Entrepreneur was Adenuga Adeniyi – MD, Tepebo International Limited. Mr Adenuga shared his story with the participants at the program who were suprised at his achievements due to the fact that he is 24 years old. In the end, Mr Adenuga charged his fellow youths to seize every opportunity they can find and be passionate about what they do because therein lies their success.

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Adenuga Adeniyi – MD, Tepebo International Limited sharing his success story at Rise National Youth Forum 6 (Ogun Session)

The Second Youth Entrepreneur was Tosin Ajibade – Founder/CEO, Olorisupergal.com. Ms Tosin shared her story on how she was once an employee of Mr Gbenga Adeyinka and from there she moved on to start olorisupergal.com as a passion before it became a business where she has four other staff members working for her. She advised the participants to remain focused and believe in themselves and they will go on to do exploits.

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From L to R: Tunji Oyebanji – Managing Director, Exxon Mobil Nigeria Plc, MTN Raffle Draw Winner and Ugo Obi – Chukwu – Head, Finance and Admin, Sahara Energy Group and Founder, Ugometrics.com at RNYF 6 (Ogun Session)

Dr. Ewumi Abosede (Dean of Student Affairs, Tai Solarin University of Education) delivered the closing remarks for the event. She appreciated Rise Networks for organizing such a life transforming program.

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