(By Rise Networks)

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 and Benin, the 6th edition of the Rise National Youth Forum (Ekiti Session) was held on the 26th of April, 2014 at the Main Auditorium, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti 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 1,500 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 four Dynamic Change Agents that included: Kunle Durojaiye – Lead Project Engineer, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited; Yemi Adamolekun – Executive Director, Enough is Enough Nigeria; Bankole Oluwafemi – Founder, Techcabal.com  and Akin Oyebode – Head, SME Development Desk, Stanbic. Also Present at the event were Professor (Mrs) Modupe Adeola Adelabu – Deputy Governor of Ekiti State Government and Senator Babafemi Ojudu representing Ekiti Central Senatorial District.

All the speakers that spoke at the event agreed on one point: to create more jobs and wealth, the youth must think beyond oil and explore opportunities in other sector of the economy.

The speakers took to the stage to deliver excellent lectures explaining  the need for every Nigerian youth to embrace vocational skill as the solution to the current unemployment menace ravaging Nigeria’s Economy.


Kunle Durojaiye – Lead Project Engineer, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, delivering his lecture on Innovation  in Project Planning and Implementation at RNYF 6 (Ekiti Session)

Kunle Durojaiye spoke on the topic “INNOVATION IN PROJECT PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION.” In his speech, he stated that Project Management is an across-board initiative that affords people to earn employment anywhere in the world, in any type of organisation. Going further in his speech, Kunle Durojaiye stated it clearly that the world is not driven by University certificates but by Skills. He proceeded to say that the world is gradually moving away from the White Collar Job era to the era of Vocational Skills and the three major sectors the world is embracing include; Entertainment, Agriculture and Technology. Kunle Durojaiye admonished students to look at their environment and identify the problem around them and proffer solutions.

Bankole Oluwafemi spoke on the topic “OPPORTUNITIES, CASE STUDIES AND LESSONS IN NIGERIA’S TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS.” Using himself as a case study, Bankole narrated his journey into becoming the Founder of TechCabal.com. While he was an undergraduate at Ekiti State University, he  embraced the computer business world during one of the Academic Staff Union of Universities Strike. He mentioned some Social Media projects that had made it big. He said Technology has become so mainstream, that it has penetrated every area of life. It also affords people opportunity of making money within the confines of their rooms. He exposed participants to opportunities provided by both Government and private organisations that help in starting up business in Technology especially exportable ones.


 Professor (Mrs) Modupe Adeola Adelabu – Deputy Governor of Ekiti State Government, charging the students to use their Intellect and Ideas to remodel and reshape Nigeria.

Professor (Mrs) Modupe Adeola Adelabu who is the Deputy Governor of the State was present at the event and shared a few words with the students. She encouraged students to have Honor and Integrity. She Said – “Use your Intellect, use your Talent, use your Experience, use your Environment to remodel and reshape Nigeria”


Akin Oyebode who is the third speaker spoke on “SME GROWTH, BEST PRACTICES AND THE RIGHT TOOLS OF TRADE IN THE DIGITAL AGE.” With 12 years in banking, he stated that collateral should always be the last thing to think about when looking for a loan for your business. You need to ask yourself if the business will be successful and yield money. He advised that success has many friends and when people notice a business you have ventured in is going to succeed, they will sponsor it. He admonished students to learn how to embrace alternatives to their course of study.  He reminded the students that in today’s world, it’s not all about what one studied but what one can make out of the skill that one has.


Senator Babafemi Ojudu representing Ekiti Central Senatorial District, took time out to be present at the event and shared inspiring words with the students. He spoke on the theme of the event “NIGERIA BEYOND OIL” mentioning that Oil, which was discovered in 1956 is gradually drying off. He gave a clarion call to human resource as the global salvation of the imminent revolution. ‘take your future in your hand’ he said. We should start thinking for ourselves. He made reference to the recent Immigration test saga where a tragedy was recorded. He stated that if their generation have failed, we the upcoming generation must not fail.

The Fourth Speaker Yemi Adamolekun spoke on “LEADERSHIP, ETHICS AND ACCOUNTABILITY” pointed out that most successful people in the world today are those who follow their passion. It is not necessarily how one starts that matters but how one ends. She said when it comes to leadership, we focus on government but we should also focus on individual selves. She continued by saying ” We don’t value ourselves enough to demand more than we are getting, we need to connect governance to our daily lives.” She advised the students to use the forth coming elections to make the Government listen to their needs. “Use your Vote, use your Voice” she said.  She suggested that the best way to challenge governance is to vote for the right candidate.


The Three Lucky Raffle Draw Winners with their Laptops and Internet Modems 

Prof. I.G. Adunlawo (Dean of Student Affairs, Ekiti State University) delivered the closing remarks for the event. He appreciated Rise Networks for organizing such a life transforming program.

Miss Toyosi Akerele, CEO Rise Networks, gave the Vote of Thanks.