The United States of America Consul General in Lagos, Mr. F. John Bray, Wednesday said the youths in Nigeria represent the greatest resource for a prosperous future.
He also said America is interested in investing in the youths in Nigeria to generate new ideas and services that can put the country in her rightful position globally.
Bray, represented by the Public Affairs Officer, Mr. Russel Brooks, said this in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, at a two-day 2019 Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Conference for Emerging Entrepreneurs, organised by the Field of Skills and Dreams Academy and supported by the United States Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria, held at the Ibadan Business School, Bodija, with 136 emerging entrepreneurs participating.
The envoy charged the emerging enterpreneurs to take risk and not be afraid to fail untill they succeed, stating that they are the needed change agents for the greatness of Nigeria.
He said: “We believe you represent the future of this continent. We believe that Nigeria’s people, especially its young people, are its greatest resource and they can produce a more prosperous future for Nigeria. One less dependent on a single commodity, instead one capable of inventing new products and services that will be attractive to markets around the world, producing the growth, jobs, and incomes that will enable Nigeria to take its rightful place among the leading nations of the world.
“Yes, we believe in you and by aiding Field of Skills and Dreams, and other local organisations, we are demonstrating our confidence in what Nigerians can accomplish.”
On what the participants needed to know to succeed, Bray said: “Please remember this quote from Dave Thomas, the founder of the American fast-food chain called Wendy’s. He said, ‘What do you need to start a business? Three simple things: know your product better than anyone, know your customer, and have a burning desire to succeed’.”
Governor Abiola Ajimobi in his keynote address, advised youths and budding entrepreneurs to develop positive mental attitude and be prepared to take risks in order to succeed.
According to him, any of the youths with humble background should not consider such as a stumbling block towards succeeding in life, stressing that he also came from similar parentage.
He said: “I am a Nigerian with a humble beginning. I came from a humble background like some of you. My father was a tailor, while my mother was a trader. So, your background should not be a hindrance to your success.
“To succeed in life, you must possess some qualifications like positive mental attitude. You must first develop that attitude and then you act it. Visualise what you want to be, act and work hard towards achieving it.
“Even when you are in your bathroom, talk to yourself. My God, I want to be this or that; although it is not only about just wishing to be, but also about working towards achieving it.
“In the words of Walt Disney, ‘all our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them’. In the process of pursuing your dreams, people will mount obstacles in your way; some will discourage you, but don’t give up.”
Ajimobi further tasked them to turn away from being job seekers to wealth creators, and be counted among the globally acclaimed entrepreneurs.
Mrs. Omowale Ogunrinde of the Fields of Skills and Dreams, a leading vocational, technical and entrepreneurship training institute, lauded the US Consulate for its support for the organisation to train and discover emerging entrepreneurs in the country.