The Founder of Stanbic IBTC Bank + President & Founder, Anap Foundation, Mr. Atedo Peterside, has charged Nigerian youths to renew their commitment towards excellence that can make them stand out in their personal and business pursuits thereby earning them pride of place among exceptional Nigerians that have contributed to the nation’s development.
He however argued that they must do this simultaneously with taking an interest in the economy plus influencing the political destiny of Nigeria.
The erudite investment banker, entrepreneur, and economist made this admonition while delivering a keynote speech at the ‘’Hamzat Lawal at 35″ lecture in Abuja, on Saturday, March 12, 2022.
According to Peterside, ‘’Young Nigerians can rise to be recognised in their businesses, academics, politics, and other works of life if they have the strong determination to do so’’, even as he cited the exceptional case of the celebrant, Hamzat Lawal, Founder, Connected Development (CODE), and a GoNigeria advocate, as one of the inspirational stories worthy of commendation and emulation by Nigerian youths.
This is the position of Atedo Peterside, who with the support of some eminent Nigerians is currently powering an enlightenment campaign on youths’ participation in the country’s electoral process, themed GoNigeria. It is a campaign to sensitize Nigerian youths to participate in the electoral process leading to the election of visionary leaders by registering en-masse to vote and collecting their voter’s cards in preparation for voting for visionary candidates in the 2023 general elections.
Mr Peterside said, in spite of the undeniable harsh economic climate in Nigeria, there still abound immense opportunities for Nigerian youths to stand out in whatever field young individuals resolve to play in as typified by the sterling example of Hamzat Lawal.
During his remark which he titled ‘’A Call to Action’’, Peterside pointed out to the audience which was mainly a youth-target audience that there is no place for sentiments in business while drawing from his own personal IBTC/Stanbic IBTC story, from its evolution thirty-three years ago to its present status as one of the leading financial institutions in the country. He urged youthful entrepreneurs to invest in themselves and their own businesses. Drawing from his own personal succession experience and lessons, the current business environment, and how to make it work for you, Mr. Peterside listed familiar challenges of growing a business and common mistakes that hinder growth.
He then drew attention to some worsening socio-economic indicators and told youths to respond to falling living standards by reversing voter apathy and replacing that with enthusiasm and an eagerness to participate in elections and vote only competent persons into political offices.
In his address, while drawing a similar analogy between his personal success story as one of the youngest bank Chief Executive at 33 years of age and that of Hamzat Lawal, Peterside emphasized Lawal’s exemplary achievements at age 35, affirming that the young activist has over 9 years of experience, backed by grassroots involvement in other African countries, via Connected Development’s (CODE) “Follow the Money” initiative.
He pointed out that Lawal’s NGO is dedicated to helping the African continent attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), empowering marginalised communities in Africa, and better engagement of government for the implementation of public services. Also, the technology-based initiative termed “Follow the Money” is an action advocacy-based scheme that advocates for proper utilization of funds in government, and international interventions in grassroots communities.
The budding entrepreneur also shared insightful vignettes on attaining personal and business growth that can propel the Nigerian youths to the lofty pedestals in their chosen field of endeavours during the event which was highly applauded by the participants.
Corroborating Peterside’s position during the event, His Excellency Kayode Fayemi, Executive Governor of Ekiti State who also delivered a keynote speech, urged the Nigerian youths to use the power of their numbers to take decisive and collective action in redefining their future.
According to Fayemi, ‘’There is always a pressing business of the day that must be done today, Nigerian youths must be ready to take decisive and collective action on the leadership across all the tiers of government that can deliver their Nigerian dreams.’’
Commenting further, the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum stressed that deliberate action of getting involved in the political process and politics of governance is the solution that the Nigerian youths can deploy to effect the necessary changes to end their agitations against the incessant strikes by the Academics Staff Union of Universities [ASUU], EndSARS, fuel, and power outages that have pathologically delivered slower pace of national development as well as militate against a better Nigeria for the Nigerian youths.
Other participants at the event included Her Excellency, Mrs. Amina Mohammed, the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations; and other Nigerians of the youth demographic such as Amina Salihu, MacArthur Foundation; Dr. Halimah Nuhu Sanda, ROMZAIB Foundation; Bella Anne Ndubuisi, Public Affairs Specialist; Maryam Laushi, Not Too Young To Run Movement; Rinsola Abiola, Derinsola Abiola Foundation; and Chioma Agwuegbo of TechHer,
GoNigeria is an initiative of Anap Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to promoting good governance in Nigeria. Anap Foundation is partnering with enlightened celebrities (GoAmbassadors), corporate bodies eager to support the initiative via co-branding (GoPartners) as well as many enthusiastic young volunteers (GoVolunteers) who will help to amplify the messaging to their age mates, towards ensuring a huge success is attained in encouraging the youths to register and vote en-masse in the 2023 General Elections. Hamzat Lawal is one of 18 Initial Advocates of the GoNigeria Movement who are drawn from all the 6 geopolitical zones (3 from each zone).