The former General Overseer of Foursquare Gospel Church and the Founder of Wilson Badejo Foundation, Rev. Wilson Badejo, has said the empowering of youths will aid economic growth and eliminate poverty in the country.
A statement by the Foundation said Badejo stated this at the 12th Annual Lecture of the WBF held on Tuesday at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs the Victoria Island, Lagos.
The theme of the lecture, during which 13 undergraduates were presented with scholarship aid, was, ‘Nigeria and the high rise of poverty: seeking economic salvation for today’s youth.”
Badejo said, “The youth in our country are languishing; for a graduate to go round the market looking for jobs for five to six years is a tragedy. The youth are in the state of despondency.
“We should know that the youth are the strength of the nation and should not be allowed to waste away and that is why the WBF is adding its quota to ensure we support and encourage them to get to the desired destination.”
He stressed that creation of employment for youths and access to quality education would tackle poverty.
“The war against poverty is a gigantic one to be fought; however ensuring a functional education presence, spiritual emancipation and through the empowering of our youths to the higher level, the huge poverty in the land will be alleviated,” Badejo said.
The guest speaker, Mr Owei Lakemfa, in his lecture entitled, ‘Nigeria in long prayer search for an Amen,’ called for intensified effort by government and private establishment to address the issue of unemployment and rising poverty in the land.
He said, “Education is vital in leading people out of poverty. Statistics shows that 13.2million children are out of school. With this, we need to build children with our conscience and promote vocational trainings so that the youth can be armed not with bricks and guns but with skills that will earn them a living. Government and private agencies need to do more to create employment opportunities for the youth.”
The event also saw the presentation of the WBF publication titled ‘Giving Hope to the Poor” which was reviewed by the former Provost of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Dr Elizabeth Ikem.