On April 2, 2016, at the premier Soni Irabor Youth Empowerment Forum (SIYEF 1), Dayo Olomu Foundation offered a one year free mentorship program to young Nigerians by serving as a link between these young vibrant Nigerians and successful people in the diaspora, particularly in the United Kingdom who will mentor them to greatness. With a condition, that none of them should ask for any financial assistance but they must only concentrate on tapping from the greatness in terms of expertise, experience, knowledge and wisdom God has deposited in these scores of achievers. Wholeheartedly, over 1,000 young Nigerians accepted this offer with the condition attached.
This clearly shows that the Nigerian youth are hungry to learn the best practices from people in diaspora. It is our duty as Nigerians in diaspora to help them out and contribute our own quota to Nigeria development through youth empowerment.
The role of diaspora in nation building and youth empowerment should never be underestimated. Nigeria is a developing country with 70% of the population below the age of 35 and median age is 18 years. In other words, Nigeria is a youthful country.
Nigeria is a blessed nation in terms of human and natural resources. Nigerians are smart. We’ve excelled in all aspects of life in all corners of the globe. However, despite all our blessings, we are where we are right now because of the mindset of our people, particularly, those who have found themselves in the corridors of leadership. United Arab Emirates, a country founded around 45 years ago has transformed their country through judicious use of their natural and human resources; learning from the best practices in diaspora, setting smart goals backed with clear and bold vision, and making the task of nation building and youth empowerment an ongoing commitment.
The following are some recommendations on how Nigerians in diaspora can contribute to nation building and youth empowerment.
- Outsourcing: There are many ambitious, smart and responsible young Nigerians who know their onions and are so damn good in what they do. Nigerians in diaspora can outsource their jobs to these young determined folks. There are times in the past, I’ve outsourced some jobs to young people in Nigeria to empower them and contribute my own quota to the economy of the country. Do you want to design your dream home? Do you want to edit your new book? Do you want to design a beautiful website? Are you planning to develop a new application for your business? Outsource these services to competent Nigerians who will do an excellent job for you and you will empower them.
- Giving: I founded Dayo Olomu Foundation with the main aim of empowering young Nigerians about leadership, entrepreneurship and personal/business success. I believe every Nigerian who has achieved considerable success in the diaspora should start thinking of giving back to the nation based on his expertise and sharing his stories to inspire young Nigerians. Invest in people consciously. Reshaping the mindset and developing the skills of our youth to enhance the social, political and economic landscape of Nigeria is a task that can be done and must be done if we are all intentional and committed in giving back to our dear nation.
- Politics: it is high time Nigerians in diaspora become keenly interested in politics at home. One of the surest routes of making huge difference in the quality of many people’s life is politics. Simply put, Nigerians in diaspora must become political players. Those who have passion for service and altruism should build a strong political movement and tentacles at home. As Nigerians living in developed world, we’ve experienced mature and true democracy built on robust yet functional system of governance, it is our duty to go back home , truly democratized our country, develop our nation, give hope to the hopeless and show our citizen and the world that there is a better way.
For Nigeria to become great, it begins with me. It begins with you. We are the change agents Nigeria is waiting for. It is our duty to contribute our quota to Nigeria development, chiefly through youth empowerment. Come Friday 10 March 2017, I will be going back to Nigeria to deposit the best of my experience and insight to empower Nigeria youths at the Human Capital Summit Africa 2017. This is one of my contributions. What are you doing to build our nation and empower our youths?
We have no any other country apart from Nigeria. It is time to serve our father’s land with love and faith so that posterity will always remember us for being part of the solution and not one of the timid souls who always complain about the problem without contributing anything to make Nigeria better.
Together we can make Nigeria great again.
God bless Nigeria.
Dr Dayo Olomu is the Founder of Dayo Olomu Foundation.
The article is the text of a paper presented to the ongoing NIDOE conference in Germany.