The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman on Thursday last week, admonished Nigerian youths to be more patriotic and crave ideal desires needed to uplift the country, because the future of the country belongs to them.
Hadiza Bala Usman stated this while delivering a key note address titled: “The Youth as forebears of the New Nigeria”at the 2018 edition of United Action for Change Youth Leadership Training Programme, held at the Digital Bridge Institute, Oshodi, Lagos.
Her message however coincided with the decision of the House of Representatives who resolved to investigate allegations of infractions against the NPA, particularly in the N10bn contract award for the dredging of Warri Seaport and Escravos Channel.
Stressing the need for patriotism as they prepare for the demands of future leadership, the NPA Boss also noted that developing a nationalistic mindset will enable them to avoid the manipulation of war mongers, ethnic and religious jingoists who peddle divisive narratives for selfish interests.
The NPA boss advised Youths to shun leaders who wield religious sentiments and always ready to drag them into unnecessary conflicts but rather they should look for role models that can make them realize that they have a common destiny with the Nigerian nation.
“The pride of Nigeria is in its diversity and the new Nigeria must be one in which leaders employ the things that bind us together efforts to limit the fault lines and the divisions that they bring. There can be no greatness for Nigeria if every citizen of the country cannot feel at home whether they are in Sokoto, Ilorin, Lagos, Uyo or Aba. The onus to ensure that we have a country where every single Nigerian can proudly call home lies in the hands of the youth’’
She enjoined the youths to develop a cosmopolitan mindset which abhors all forms of discrimination and prioritize merit, honesty, hard workand love for Nigeria, pointing out that appointments or recognition is not given on religious or ethnic backgrounds but rather on discipline, dedication, commitment, diligence etc.
“As youths who aspire to lead Nigeria into a new era, we must develop a deep sense of righteous living and contentment, none of which can happen without self-worth and self-control, essential life skills that need to be developed also include the capacity to work under pressure, work with other and take decisions that reflect a deep understanding of the situation. Potential leaders must also learn to read and be attentive listeners”. She added.
While urging the youths to cultivate a sense of service to the people, the Managing Director advised them to embrace politics early by emulating Nigerian leaders like Sirs Ahmadu Bello, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and Dr. NnamdiAzikwe who became leaders in their 30’s; and Senator Hillary Clinton, who wanted to be President at 69 but has been in public service for about four decades, noting that though the former US President Obama, became America President at 46, he had actually been in active public service since the age of 24.
She also called on government to enhance the capacity of the younger generation and give them more opportunities to contribute to national development.
In his speech, the convener of United Action for Change, Dr Muniz Banire said the 3 day training program was put together for about 150 youths in fulfilment of mission of preparing a new generation of future leaders with right vision and values to effect the much desired change in Nigeria.