By Chioma Onuegbu
UYO — A nongovernmental organization under the aegis of ‘Alert Nigeria’ has concluded plans to produce 124 young entrepreneurs and leaders annually across the 31 Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom State to execute 124 grassroots development projects in their respective communities.
NDV gathered that the programme tagged “Iboro Otu Leadership and Entrepreneurship Discourse, IOLED, has already pooled together a diverse team of industry actors, academics, innovators and social transformers to raise a pool of young people that would participate in the community project.
How participants‘ll emerge
Director of Alert Nigeria, Mr. Iboro Otu, weekend, in Uyo said the programme, which entails sending the participants out to their respective villages to discover the economic and social problems they face and equally proffer solutions to the problems, would involve a selection of 31 indigenous students from tertiary institutions in the state every quarter of the year.
He regretted that Nigeria as a country has failed to effectively harness the creativity, resilience and entrepreneurial initiative of its young population to overcome its numerous economic hardship, stressing that the programme was designed to tackle the worrisome mentality where majority of the youths today see politics as only means of actualizing their dreams in life.
“The status quo in Akwa Ibom State is not what we love to see, it is time for our youths to understand that politics is not a career, but only an avenue to service, entrepreneurship and strong visionary leadership have been acknowledged globally as the engine of socio-economic growth and transformation.
Prospect for youths
“Therefore, Nigeria and Akwa Ibom state in particular, can surmount the numerous socio-economic challenges if an alternative paradigm is built that inspires, promotes and instills the values of personal leadership and accountability in the minds of the teeming youths while ensuring that their creative energies are productively harnessed through entrepreneurship,” he said.
Otu added, “So, Alert is committed to providing opportunities for young people at the grassroots level to develop their leadership and entrepreneurial capacity, inspire them to research problems solving skills for the well-being of their communities.”
Throwing more light on the grassroots development project, the Head of Projects Development, Mr. Okonubin Edjo, identified three phases of the programme to include Essay competition, capacity buildings and community development projects.