Olusegun Mimiko, the governor of Ondo State, has called on governments and political leaders at all levels to initiate policies and programmes that will support the growth of infant industries in Nigeria.
Dr. Mimiko made the call while speaking as the keynote speaker at the 2016 United Nations International Youth Day Celebration held at the University of Lagos on Saturday, August 13, 2016. He delivered a speech on the topic, The Blueprint of Successful Youth Development; What Governments and Political Leaders Must Do Now.
According to the the governor, who was represented by his senior aide on research and strategy, Dr. Lanre Olu-Adeyemi, for Nigeria to overcome the challenges of poverty and youth unemployment, it must pay urgent attention to the development of its infant industries.
“While I believe in a knowledge-based economy, I also believe that we must pay critical attention to industrialization to enable us create more jobs for our unemployed youth, improve food supply, invent technologies that are energy-efficient, adaptable, cost effective and labour-saving to help grow our local industries,” Mimiko said.
Mimiko also acknowledged the challenge of stable power supply, which according to him, has crippled most big industries and militate against the growth of startups in Nigeria.
He said the Ondo State example for youth development is a template that is practicable which governments across Africa can adopt while tasking political leaders in Nigeria to tap into the youthful demographic advantage for inclusive development.
“The world will not develop, no matter how hard we try, if young people are not able to exercise their human rights. It is true that young people will be the major drivers of development in the coming decades, but it should still be remembered that the youths must become our priority,” Mimiko said
The event was organized by RISE, a leading social enterprise with a deliberate interest and passion for youth and education development.