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YOUTH EMPOWERMENT: UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN (UI)/OONI COLLABORATE

2021-09-09
The Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Adebola Babatunde Ekanola has commended the boundless zeal of the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II in ensuring that Nigerian youths live up to expectations as the custodians of posterity. Professor Ekanola spoke at the palace of the Ooni in Ile-Ife during the formalization of the collaboration between His Imperial Majesty and the University of Ibadan on youth empowerment. While signing the Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of the University of Ibadan, the Acting Vice-Chancellor described the initiative tagged Royal African Youth Innovators (RAYI), as a veritable means of stemming the growing unrest among the nation’s youths. He described the youth as the future of the country but was quick to point out that the nation’s efforts towards progress and development would fail if the youths were not adequately empowered. According to him, the reason for the insecurity that pervades the country can be attributed to mass unemployment of the youths noting that until this problem is addressed it would be difficult to attain the envisaged progress and development in the country. Professor Ekanola expressed his delight at the fact that the Royal Father is at the vanguard of the new initiative, and assured that the programme was bound to be a success after all. In his words, both the University of Ibadan and His Imperial Majesty are two great global brands and universal institutions. The relationship, therefore, will be fruitful especially with regards to giving the mass of the Nigerian youths a new direction in the realization of their potentials for the development of their father land. In his remark, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, noted that the collaboration was long overdue but had been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He pointed out that though he has had relationships with other universities within and outside the country, the relationship with UI was different for so many reasons. Citing his bond with the UI Chancellor, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammed Sa’ad Abubakar III and his never-to-be-forgotten love for the University campus, which he still reminisces about, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi said he was thankful to God for the opportunity to work with the University of Ibadan especially through the RAYI initiative. He did not end his speech without praying for the progress of the University of Ibadan, its management and everyone associated with the University. The Royal father noted also that he had a personal admiration for the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Adebola Babatunde Ekanola describing him as a true son of Yorubaland. The Royal African Youth Innovators (RAYI), has many facets but will focus on capacity building for youths across Nigeria. Among other things, it will encourage students in tertiary institutions in Oyo State to imbibe the spirit of self-employment and job creation with a mindset of becoming employers of labour rather than job seekers. It will also redefine the innovative and creative startups trends with actionable insights to help new products to thrive now and in the future. It will identify, develop and embrace a new breed of competent and patriotic technology leaders who desire to impact and shape the economic narratives of Africa. Also included in the programme is its objective of recreating the mentorship schemes in Africa by connecting RAYI community to the multinational institutions for the purpose of gaining and adding knowledge.