The Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), has called on African youths, Nigeria inclusive, to rise up to the challenge of re-building African nations, saying the future of any economy lies in the hands of youths.
ALTON Chairman, Gbenga Adebayo, said instead of migrating to other continents of the world in search of greener pastures, adequate security and economic stability, African youths must look inwards and remain in Africa to develop the region.
Adebayo gave the advice at the weekend in Lagos, while receiving the Nelson Mandela African Patriot Award of Excellence, presented to him by the Trans-African Youth Initiative (TAYI). The body also recognised ALTON as Most Productive Telecoms Association in Africa.
According to Adebayo, “Africa is faced with many challenges such as insecurity and emigration of youths across the West African region. In Nigeria, the challenges of kidnapping and banditry are on the rise, and ALTON is vey concerned about these African challenges. Investment thrives where it is welcomed and if there is no stability in the African economies, investors will not come to invest. Today the African region is losing its population to other economies because the youths are migrating in search of better socio-economic guarantees. ALTON therefore challenge African youths to take responsibility now and in the future because the future is in the hands of the youths. African youths must remain in the African region to rebuild the economies of the region.”
He further said if all youths in the region decided to migrate to other regions, “who would then rebuild the Africa region.”
“African youths therefore have a duty to remain in the region through thick and thin to rebuild the region, he added, and advised the youth leaders of TAYI to encourage its members and other youths across Africa to remain in Africa to rebuild the African economy, which includes the Nigerian economy.
“There are influx of foreign goods into Africa and if African youths continue to migrate out of Africa, time will come when Africa can not produce local goods for African consumption, thereby leaving the African economy in the hands of foreigners,” Adebayo said.
He used the occasion of the awards to thank the Trans-African Youth Initiative for the recognition bestowed upon him as “African Patriotic Leader” as well as the recognition of ALTON as “Most Productive Telecoms Association in Africa.”
ALTON’s Publicity Secretary, Mr. Damian Udeh, also thanked TAYI for the recognitions, and advised the youth leaders to always inculcate the right values among its members and the African youths.
Country Representative of TAYI, Ambassador Bakare Luqman, who led the delegation of TAYI to present the awards, said the decision to present the wards to Adebayo and ALTON, was taken at its national executive meeting held at the United Nations Youth Assembly, in New Portein, South Africa.
“Indeed, the recipients have won the hearts of African Youths by their conducts and credentials as distinguished leader and dogged administrator, and Adebayo has publicly showed that he is a bastion of hope and a statesman per excellence,” Luqman said.
Trans-African Youths Initiative is the voice of 1.2 billion young people of the Commonwealth. It is the largest youth-led organisation in Africa, which plays the integral role of advancing youth development agenda and co-ordination of activities and policies of the 54 Commonwealth nations in the field of youth.