Over 300 youths that gathered from the length and breadth of Ijebu Land, a community is Ogun State of Nigeria have resolved to take actions in various economic and socio-political aspects of the development of Ijebu Land. This commitment took place as part of the winding up activities for the Second edition of the Ijebu Youth Arise Conference, the largest Youth conference for Ijebu Youth.
The 2014 edition of the conference which took place at the Justice Development and Peace Commission Hall Ijebu Ode on 1st October 2014, with the theme “Awaking the Sleeping Giant,” was aimed at raising a new army of indigenous problem solvers. Ijebu Young people, particularly her youth who will solve Ijebu Problems themselves.
The conference was organized by the Idea House, a youth development social enterprise with the support of Ogun East Senatorial Youth Coalition and the Justice Development and Peace Commission
The Convener of the Program, Osoteku Demilade Isaac while delivering his welcome address stated that the 2014 edition focused on Entrepreneurship, Agriculture, Vocational Skills and Political Participation.
“Over the years, we have witnessed what is similar to the brain drain of the military era in Ijebu land. The best of our young brains are jetting out to Lagos and nearby cities in search for greener pastures. The sad event is that only a few of them eventually return to develop Ijebu Land. Some of us event forget that these cities we are running to were built by the hard work of her government and most importantly, her people.”
“These four areas are key to our development as young people. In the era of limited jobs, Ijebu Youth have no better option than to embrace the path of starting businesses and taking advantage of the opportunities in Agriculture and Vocational Skills”
Mr Olumide Oregbemi, CEO of Smaxling communications one of Ijebu Land leading Communications and Customer Service consultancy firms while speaking on entrepreneurship demystified the concept to the rapt audience. He shed light on the culture of doing businesses in Ijebu Land stating categorically that referrals, recommendation and innovation are important parts of the business culture of the people here.
“If you have to do business in Ijebu land and make profit, especially if it’s a service, you’ll have first and foremost find your unique voice with innovation and creativity as well as to get referred by someone customers already know and trust.”
“As an Ijebu Entrepreneur, you have to make your friends first before you need them. There is enough money to go round in Ijebu land if young people are not complacent. For products, innovation and packaging is the hallowed parameter for success.”
Adeniyi Adenuga, the sensational farmer and CEO of Tepebo farms who is one of the leading voices of youth in Agriculture on the African continent shed light on the being a successful farmer in Ijebu land with his personal example of his farm in Ilese Ijebu.
“Proper theoretical and practical information, determination, and skills are the three most important things to acquire before venturing into agriculture. Most of our young people and even adults just venture without enough information and consequently fail.”
“For those who complain of funding as the basic challenge, I totally agree with them. However, primary production is not the only way to engage in agriculture, there are other value additions services that are cheaper to run than primary production and also more profitable.”
Mr. Yinka Quadri, a former Special Adviser to the Ogun State governor was next as he spoke on taking action to secure our political future as Ijebu young people.
“Young people should move beyond just registering and voting during elections or mere advocacy on social media, television, or their homes. They must be actively involved to establish a system that ensures that the best candidates are pushed forward. A youth movement is the solution but it should be such that will be beyond elections to monitoring and evaluating our political leaders.”
Ogayemi Olamigoke, the president of Youth Movement for Better Ogun State (YMBOS) spoke on Youth Participation and good governance and democracy.
“As young people, we have been too laid back politically for too long a time. With the 2015 election in view, there is no better time to Arise and take critical decisions about our future than now. Through YMBOS, we have been doing this, we implore other young people to join this intellectual and mobilization movement”
The best fashion designer in Ijebu land, 2013 “Samuel Osho-Gold” who achieved the feat in less than three months of running his now 9 months old multi-million naira fashion business inspired the audience with his start-up story.
“I started my business with just N18, 000 in Ijebu ode and in less than one year, I have made over 1000% in profit. Most of our vocational skilled and engaged people do not usually package their skills for high ended customers. Their business environments are usually very appalling. That is why our people believe that great products can only be found in Lagos.”
“The poor state of packaging and innovation by most practitioners of vocational skills is an economic gap that young people can fill. We need more excellent barbers, fashion designers, accessories makers and lots more within Ijebu land, interestingly, there is space for everyone.”
The event was also spiced up with an excellent performance by Sixma Sax the extraordinaire hip-hop saxophonist as he wowed the audience. Enactus Tasued also had a presentation on their tremendous impact on rural communities in Ijebu land.
The Second edition of the Ijebu Youth Arise Conference may be over already but it’s impact still lives on. Truly, Ijebu youth are rising.