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WORLD PRESS CONFERENCE granted by Apostle Peter Odoemena (The Son of Man)
Press: May we know who you are, sir
SOM: Well, I am as simple as you have just seen Me. My name is Apostle Peter Odoemena. I am one of the Elders in the Bride of Christ Ministry Worldwide. It is a non-denominational Ministry. Presently, we have our Headquarters at Onitsha. We Fellowship every Sunday in the morning hours between 8 o’clock in the morning and 4pm. Then on Wednesdays, we have our mid week prayers and other activities between 4pm and 6pm. We don’t have anything night meetings at all. It is a non-denominational movement. So, anybody is a member of that Movement, provided the person believes in Christ and is willing to obey the Words of God unadulterated. That’s the much I would like to say there.
Press: Why have you come here, sir?
SOM: We are here for a ceremony. I was invited by the students of the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus. They said I should deliver a lecture to them; “The future of the Nigerian Youths in the contemporary Nigerian political and economic situation”. Last year, I can remember very correctly, I was equally here, I also delivered a lecture on “The pathway to greatness”. That was the topic and a lot of pressmen equally attended that meeting. It was televised in the network. NTA carried it, Radio Nigeria and other print media. So, I believe the lecture I delivered last year made an impact on their lives, because it was a Youths empowerment lecture, aiming at repositioning our Youths for the task ahead after their education. So I believe I made a nice impact, otherwise they wouldn’t have re-invited Me here. So, I am here to speak to them again on their future, but they narrowed Me to the Nigerian students. They said, ‘the future of the Nigerian Youths (students); in other words they have placed Me on a very narrow path. If they had given Me the Nigerian Youths, that could have been better. Nevertheless, I believe God will help Me to meet their needs.
Press: Sir, what could be the problems confronting the Nigerian Youths?
SOM: (laughs) There are myriads of problems confronting Nigerian Youths. The most important that MUST be addressed as a matter of utmost urgency is the problem of unemployment. Unemployment is the greatest problem facing our Youths. When we want to talk about the future of any body; the future of any human being is being tied to his occupation. Whatever you are doing today determines what tomorrow will be for you. A man who has no occupation automatically has no future. So, the moment we mention future, we are talking about gainful employment first.
So, the Youths are actually hopelessly helpless, going by the situation in the country. The Government has no clear-cut programme whereby the teeming Youths that are passing through the tertiary institutions can be absorbed, and of course, we see the attendant evils; frustration sets in, and then the fear of poverty. You know, Nobody wants to be poor. Once somebody is frustrated, poverty is equally there, because he is doing basically nothing. These Youths by nature, they are restive. They are not illiterates. They have been trained. They have been groomed. They have been exposed. So, they want to express themselves and the only way they can express themselves is in what we are witnessing in Nigeria today. Nobody is a foreigner. Without this mass unemployment, these issues of wide-spread kidnapping, suicide bombing and even the armed robbery cases, check all of them; they are all products of unemployment.
Another problem is mass illiteracy. You see, A STARK ILLITERATE IS A FOOL AND ILLITERACY IS A DELIBRATE MISFORTUNE. I CALL IT A SELF-INFLICTED INJURY, BECAUSE EVERY PERSON HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE LITERATE, BUT SOME PEOPLE HAVE DECIDED NOT TO BE LITERATE FOR REASONS BEST KNOWN TO THEM. What we are seeing them manifesting is nothing but the result of ignorance. If anybody says that education is unimportant, he should go and try ignorance. Once somebody is not literate, he is not well informed. I mean, he will become a victim of the society. Anybody can use him for any purpose at all, because he doesn’t know the implications. But it is not so with one that is literate. So, mass illiteracy is a very big problem of our Youths today. When we want to talk about the problems of the Youths, I mean, these two stare in the face.
Then we can go further to highlight other problems and those other problems I will blame also our educational system. THERE IS A WIDE DISPARITY BETWEEN OUR INSTITUTIONS OF LEARNING AND THE NEEDS OF THE SOCIETY. This is what is causing unemployment as well because when we say unemployment every body is looking at white-collar jobs and things like that, but there are too many other areas somebody can be gainfully employed, but simply because our academic curriculum is not tailored to meet the needs of the society.
What does it result at last? You see graduates passing out of the universities and other higher institutions with certificates that will not offer them any place in the society, because the society does not need what they have majored in, and they have no other skill. Then you see some you call engineers (well they are engineers because of their certificates) but they are not engineers in practical terms. I have been in the industry for the past 26 years now. Many of them have come to us, and when we expose them to the rudiments of the engineering work, the whole technicalities, you discover that they do not know anything at all, for they are not properly groomed technically. With the result that when they pass out, to employ them becomes very difficult also. If the institutions can be tailored so as to meet the needs of the society, I believe it will also help reduce this rate of unemployment in the society.
Another area is when we talk about self employment. There must be the conducive environment for that. We cannot talk about self employment when government has not provided the wherewithal that is necessary. We don’t have any infrastructure development. It is nowhere to be found. And the issue of financing, you cannot start anything without finance. Government has no program for the Youths. That is exactly what I want to say. Their (Youths) problems vary from one locality to another and from one individual to another.
Press: Sir, we want to know what informed your decision to speak on this topic today.
SOM: I have been sympathetic of the situation and I strongly believe in Youths empowerment. In fact, wherever I go, I say that I will remain an unrepentant advocate of Youths empowerment. I believe that when we empower our Youths, we are now furthering the future of the nation, even our children yet unborn will have a pride of place in our society. The Youths are regarded as the pillars of the nation. Just like in the family; somebody might be blessed with Youths, but when the Youths do not have the capacity, the family must surely collapse.
You see this building, without the pillars, this building must surely collapse. When we have Youths without capacities, Youths that are not well equipped, it is equal to having nothing at all. So, this is exactly what has informed my coming here, so that we can rub our minds together and know where to go after leaving the four walls of the universities.
Press: Thank you Sir
SOM: Thank you.

“The Future Of The Nigerian Youths In The Contemporary Nigerian Political and Economic Situation”
Apostle Peter Odoemena
The Son Of Man
This publication that I am giving out belongs to you. Give even to your members who are not here today. I want to welcome all and sundry here today. There is one adage that says, “if it is not good for a joke, then it is not funny”. If it is not good for a joke, then it can never never be funny. The reason why we have gathered here is not nice to be a joke. So, I believe it can never be funny. We are here for something very serious and a wise man thinks about the future, while a foolish fellow considers his or her present situation.
We are here because the future of our Youths is at stake. About this time last year, at your invitation, I featured here and spoke to you on the topic titled, “THE PATHWAY TO GREATNESS”. I left copies of that lecture to you. Besides, I gave you a free offer of the booklet titled, “PRESERVE YOUR YOUTHS AND ACHIEVE YOUR DREAMS”. Some were also privileged to collect the free copies of one of My publications titled, “Discover And Develop Your Potentials As A Youth”. If the lecture and the books that were left behind after the whole ceremony last year, never made any positive impact on you and members of Dignity Consult, I don’t think you would have invited Me this time around with another topic. A very explosive and dicey topic.
The ex-governor of Enugu State; I mean, in the days of Governor Chimaroke, constructed a tunnel here in Enugu. The first of its kind in the South East, and there was no other name he chose to call that tunnel but EBEANO; Where we are. The topic you gave Me to speak on; If I should bare My mind, it is Ebeano. It is Ebeano. That’s where we are. I would not stay long; I will say few things around the topic, believing that I took my time to document something, not only for your consumption, but for posterity.
A young man of about fifteen years woke up one morning, went to his father with a perplexing question. He asked, “Daddy, can you please tell me what the future holds?” The man turned and looked at the son’s face, saw every amount of seriousness written on his face. The man said, “When you grow up to be a man, you will begin to understand the facts of life, for no one can actually predict what the future holds”. Of a truth, I want to say that if this philosophy holds any truth, it was that time, not now.  If this philosophy that nobody can predict tomorrow is to be taken seriously, it must be at that time, no longer today.
There are some truths that have expired and there are some current truths. Anybody holding that expired philosophy that no one can predict his future, let me tell you, can never make any head way in life. If you cannot predict your future, why are you in the university? You could have stayed at home. Now, I want to go straight to today’s topic. I perceived that the Nigerian Youths (though you narrowed Me down to the students), you said I should talk to you on the future of the Nigerian Youths in the contemporary political and economic situation in the country.
 I want to say without mincing words that there is a great discontent among the Nigerian Youths. Nobody is happy with the situation and that could be what informed your invitation of the Son of Man to come and talk to you. Let Me tell you; when you want to talk about the future, you are talking about your occupation, because any human being without a VISIBLE and VIABLE means of livelihood (underline the key words I am using) visible and viable means of livelihood, truly speaking, has no future.
I am saying in effect that the future of any individual is strictly tied to his occupation, for what ever a man is doing today determines what his future is likely to be. Then that foolish assumption or philosophy that no man can predict his future is a destitute position. Some people have reclined their future to destiny which is the saddest mistake that has led to frustration and its attendant problems. I am as God made Me. You are not as God made you. You are what you have made yourself, because destiny has been over-burdened. People have attributed almost all their discomforts to destiny. Destiny has nothing to do with that. If you don’t know the meaning of destiny, you better go home and think about it.
Destiny is a matter of choice not of chance. Your destiny, to a large extent, is in your hands, for you are your own self driver. You are driving yourself. You know where you are heading to. You know the way; you are ever going there. Let Me just lay down one secret; For you to probe into the future is very much acceptable in the sight of God and in the sight of man because judging from what is happening in the society, every body is feeling uneasy, especially our Youths.
I have said it that when we talk about the future of the youths, we are talking about gainful employment for that is where your future takes its origin. Nobody is in the university with the mind that after graduating that he will be roaming about the streets. Is it your aim of suffering to school? Never! Never! But I wish to state it here that the days arte over when people think that mere acquisition of a university certificate is all it takes to become what ever they want to be in the society. No! That time is completely gone. I strongly believe that university degree or certificate is not the end, but a means to achieving the end.
For that reason, after leaving the four walls of the university, the question has remained; where do I go from here? Some of My friends that are here, who happened to be of the old generation, we can say it loud and clear that we were privileged to witness that before every thing crumbled, once somebody graduates from the university, there is always a chauffeur-driven vehicle as his car and a super-furnished flat awaiting him to simply come out and enter into a super-furnished flat. Of course you will collect your appointment paper before your graduation. But today, nobody should dream such a dream.
Anybody that is having such a vision or dream that tomorrow will be better, to the point that you will begin to collect your appointment letters before your graduation, that person is suffering from what I may call neurotic psychosis. You can send him to Dr Christian Ojiakor for examination. Please give Me your attention. I said, “if it is not nice to be a joke, it can never be funny”. This matter is not a funny matter. No matter how I took pains to document something for posterity, aiming at helping you, so that you will not lose your bearing the moment you leave the four walls of the school, yet it is still My responsibility to touch on other problem areas. The Youths, of course I have defined it before and I have given you booklets. THE YOUTHS ARE THE PILLARS OF ANY VIBRANT NATION.
For a nation to move further and then hold its head high in the comity of nations, the future of the Youths MUST be protected. The Youths MUST be assured of gainful employment with protection. You know, there are jobs that do not have protection. That’s Lebanese jobs. And then, looking at the way things are going, I can see signs of lebanonization of the Nigerian workers. Work finish. Go!. Then, the days when government service offered protection to the employees are also over. If it is so with the government, what can you think about the private sector. Now let no body ever paint a rosy picture of tomorrow to you. I want to put it straight. You want to know what the future holds for you, I will highlight that again. Then you will draw your own conclusion.
I have already highlighted many of them as you can see in the booklet. Looking at the whole situation, I have not seen a future where government is going to provide jobs for our teeming graduate Youths. Let’s cast our minds back when the former president, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo (rtd.) assumed office, he promised to create jobs for 20 million Nigerian Youths. We jubilated. As we journeyed along, instead of creating jobs, over 40 million workers in Nigeria lost their jobs. He instituted a reform called public service reform, down-sizing and right-sizing of the civil service which threw many productive civil servants out of job. Most of them were graduates.
While we were trying to cope with that, the global economic melt down came with its troubles, in spite of the picture that was painted by the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Charles Soludo that the melt down will not affect Nigeria adversely. Before our very eyes, all the financial institutions got distressed, with the result that some survived, while some liquidated throwing too many people out of jobs. He came up with another one; Privatization, and then inaugurated a board which he called privatization of public enterprise. What happened there? All the parastatals owned by the Federal Government embarked on a redundancy exercise, which threw too many Youths out of job. While they were still going about these things, they said that Local Governments should follow.
Remember that before this took place, there had already the problem of mass unemployment of the Nigerian Youths. I do not have the accurate number of the universities in Nigeria today, private universities inclusive. All of them hatch out graduates every year in thousands and they are craving to look for places in the federal civil service, local government, state or the private sector. I am beginning to say something that is not even worth saying in this forum. Of course, I will say it the way I know it. The three fundamental indices of a failed nation. I am not impressing or a stooge of anybody. All these things are mine.
Three fundamental indices of a failed nation: Number one is the inability of a nation to provide employment for her Youths. It is like a family. Any family that can not take care of the children that are born in that family academically and otherwise, is that family not a disappointment to the children? Has that family not failed? Now, a nation that can not guarantee gainful employment for her teeming Youths that are productive; that is number one sign of a failed nation. Number two is the aftermath of number one. What is that number two?
Check all the nations that have failed to provide gainful employment for there Youths (please give Me your attention, you must notice this hydra-headed evil thing) that nation or government MUST lose the monopoly of the use of force, arms and ammunition. Did I make any sense there? I repeat it. The second, I think is the aftermath of the first. Because when people are discontented, when people are frustrated, they will like to express themselves. They will like to be heard. And they will use any language they feel the authorities can listen to.
I said that the three indices, fundamental indices of a failed nation; number one is the inability of the nation to guarantee gainful employment for her teeming Youths. Number two is the loss of the monopoly of the use of arms and ammunition. Today, has Nigeria not lost the monopoly? If Nigeria has not lost that monopoly. who has armed militants, I mean Boko Haram, and we have the guerillas everywhere.
In Anambra State, carrying of arms is no more illegal. Anybody can carry pump action. You meet people who are not uniformed men, you don’t know where they belong to, they have no uniform, they have no number, they have no badges, nobody is even checking to know whether they are authorized to carry them or not, all in the name of Vigilante groups. It was not so in the beginning, because carrying of arms unrestricted has its own attendant effects.
Note, these arrow-carriers are those that are at the prime of their Youths who could be employed in gainful and productive ventures.
I wish to state that once the Youths are accustomed to using rifle of different categories to earn a living, to disarm them is extremely difficult. That was where I frowned at them when they said they were disarming the Niger Delta Youths and one of the pressmen that accosted Me one day asking a question and said, “my friend, why should you say it like this” and I said, “Yes, that is the way I know it.” You can only disarm somebody you know. Somebody you armed. You didn’t arm them. You don’t know where they are. You don’t know how many they are in number. You don’t know where they are getting their rifles. You don’t know whom their leaders are. They are not organized. what if they bring, I mean, weapons that are old. What if thy surrender them and keep those ones that are relevant to them.
Thus, I am saying that all these terrorist activities, they are not even one is perpetrated by our septuagenarians or octogenarians. They are all emanating from our Youths, who are not gainfully employed in productive ventures. The third, well, that is not why I am here. But I have to say it the way I know it, is the inability of a nation to control the depreciation of her currency. There is no way the currency of a nation will depreciate without the economy depreciating. And in a depreciated economy,  the first thing you notice is mass unemployment. I will rest my case on this and go straight to the point.
I am trying to highlight your future so that you may begin to see where you will be emptied any moment from now. You will be emptied into the labour market that is super-saturated and if you depend on government to determine your future in a situation like this, definitely, you will be disappointed.
 It is unfortunate to say that our government has never redeemed their promise. Whatever might be their promises, I call them empty political promises. Whatever might be their programmes, I like them to that of their predecessors.
I was very much a young boy in the secondary school as at 1976, when the former Head of State, General Olusegun Obasanjo mounted the mantle of leadership and then in his attempt to tackle the problem of food scarcity, he came with his own views and slogans, ideas he wanted us to buy. I call those.... They were mere sociological semantics or nomenclature. He came up with Operation Feed the Nation and another one, Green revolution. He banned the importation of rice. When he discovered that rice was not the problem of the nation, he came up with another thing. Of course, nobody is satisfied with the situation as it stands today. Nobody is happy.
You MUST know that mass unemployment is the problem which many countries had which resulted to revolution. Of course I don’t need to go into that area. You listen to radio. Don’t you? You read newspapers. Civil unrest in Libya, civil unrest in Syria, civil unrest everywhere, the whole of black Africa, the whole of middle east, civil unrest. If it is not from a despotic government, it is from mass unemployment. Frustration, hunger, poverty; these things are present with us. A hungry man is an angry man.      Yes! Unemployment breeds poverty, poverty breeds frustration, frustration breeds terrorism. I say, “TERRORISM IS A PRODUCT OF FRUSTRATION”. When the Youths are frustrated, you cannot stop them from reacting.
This is why I said that the Federal Government of Nigeria ( in short, all the three tiers of government should join hands together) including the organized private sector to do something and do it immediately. Otherwise, we are just crying wolf, when we have not seen the wolf. The wolf is coming. So, to you Youths, the time when you could pin your future to what the state will provide for you is over. If they will provide it for you, fine. But whether you like it or not all of us are Nigerians. You are not foreigners. To secure a job, a space in the Federal civil service is either through the Federal Civil Service Commission or through back door or front door.
The truth is that you must have a top notch either in the National Assembly or in Aso Rock or in the Government house of your state, or else you forget it. However, how many of you can boast of having such contacts. Write your applications, they will end in the waste paper basket, because you do not have the person that will take it to the appropriate table, where it can be read. You talk about the multinationals, how many of them are still in Nigeria? How many of them are functioning properly? Even to get jobs there, is it easy? It is not easy.  
So please, I am of the opinion that you should begin now to see tomorrow. Let nobody ever hoodwink you into believing that it will be better tomorrow. Government is contributing her own and we are equally contributing our own. In the organized private sector, where I am, for centuries now, we can never boast of having one establishment that has made progress, unless those that are engaged in buying and selling; and buying and selling has never helped any nation to grow. For a nation to grow, the world MUST see her products. Nigeria has become a dumping ground for sub-standard goods from Korea, China, Pakistan, Egypt and some other places.
I remember about six or seven years ago, when I met the Honourable Minister for Industry in Abuja asking him why his ministry has permitted the importation of hurricane lanterns into the country. Sub-standard hurricane lanterns, filament lanterns, filament torch lights. I told him what we were suffering in our establishment, as the only hurricane lantern manufacturing company in black Africa, with not only license but with trademark and our products has been approved and with a certificate by the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON). We have attended international trade fairs both in Nigeria and Britain. We have our certificates. I said, “Sir, don’t you know that if sub-standard materials are being dumped in Nigeria, that have little or no value and are being sold at very cheap prices, cheaper than our production cost, don’t you know that it will make us.... He said, “my friend, if you cannot compete with them, wind up”. I said “thank you sir”. “If you cannot compete with them, wind up. That is your business”. I said, “Okay sir”. We watched the situation, since we could not continue. We closed down that particular section of our operation, throwing more than one hundred and forty (140) workers out of job, and these were Youths that were highly productive, for there was no way we could make it. Our production cost was by far higher than the market price. No good entrepreneur will ever continue production, after all, the aim of every thing is to make profit by satisfying the customers’ demands.
What am I saying? Almost all our industrial establishments, both small and medium scale are operating below installed capacities and when there is opportunity for recruitment of young graduates, the remuneration is abysmally poor. However, it is better to start somewhere than to stay idle. I am saying that even in the organized private sector, it is not easy to secure a place. You have seen your banks and our banks everywhere. Apply for job in any of them, you will get the reply, “Sorry we cannot recruit anybody now”. Why? They are trying to survive. Most of them, let me tell you, most of them are grossly insolvent. So, does it mean that you will be roaming about the streets after graduating? The answer is NO! You MUST do something. This nation belongs to all of us. You MUST do something. One; off you eyes and your mind from what the government will do for you. Begin to reason, begin to think about what you can do for yourself.
One approached Me the other day and was talking about the future of the Youths in relationship to employment. I said, “ my dear, that place you want to go is a nice place, but will you sit on top of somebody?” In the civil service, nobody is retiring again. They are only being forced out. Go there, they are falsifying their ages, falsifying their records. Government knows the truth. If government is sincere they know what to do.  
Give Me the federal civil service or the state or local government, I will weed out all the dead woods. I know what I will do. Reduce the service years from 35 years to 30; reduce the retirement age from 60 years to 55; cut it down immediately, and then carry out the flushing out exercise. If possible, use the blood test to ascertain the ages of those over-aged staff. Some of them with shaky hands and are still there.
A situation where a man is the director, the wife is an assistant director, the son id the cashier, the grand son is the clerical officer. And the grandfather is still sitting down in that office.  What is he doing? If government is really serious, our Youths can be conveniently absorbed, given the right of places (a round of applause!) you know what to do.
I know I am running on a dangerous ground, but I will say something. Let Me join the numerous Nigerian that say the truth about the matter to say few things. In 1973, precisely three years after the Nigerian civil war, the Head of State that time, General Yakubu Gowon, initiated the programme called the National Youths Service Corps and then the idea was to re-integrate Nigeria socially and culturally by posting fresh graduate Youths to states outside their state of origin. Remember as at that time, we had only but twelve (12) states in the federation, quite unlike what we have today. At least it was a nice programme. The idea was very good.
Now as we continued, the thing lost its texture. The programme lost its texture. From 1973 to 2011, how many years? You are all accountants here now, why not supply Me with the figures. Eleven minus three will give you what? Eight. Thirty-eight years! Somebody who was born thirty-eight years ago, is he still a boy? He is not a kid. I mean that NYSC, after 38 years of its inception has not achieved the basic objectives for establishing it. Can’t you see the intolerance that exists between the North and the South? Is it not naked? If you have not been there, have you not heard from your colleagues, your friends and well-wishers that have served in diverse places?
I bought a newspaper this morning only to read a report of a Corper that was raped, simply because she is of the southeast extraction, posted to another land where she is not accepted as a citizen of Nigeria. Now, watch the programme. All those educationally disadvantaged areas, capitalized on that programme as the cheapest means of getting professional labour recognizing the fact that for every service year, some people MUST be posted. At the end of the service period, they will go back and begin to look for jobs. Another set of graduates will come. With this type of spiral cycle, tell Me, when will vacancies be created for permanent appointment in those areas? Since they are readily supplied and they are doing the work for which they are posted, is there any need employing somebody who they will pay salary when there are professionals that are coming and going, rendering services to them free of charge. Am I making sense?
We are talking of unemployment! Unemployment!, but there are vacancies everywhere but Nigeria is not sincere with our Youths. Nigeria has no clear cut programme concerning Youths empowerment, concerning absorption of our teeming Youths that graduate from the universities every year. No programme at all. The National Directorate of Employment is just s name. It exists in a name.
In one of their pilot programmes, they said they will educate, train and re-train graduates, at the end of which they will offer them soft loan to enable them start their small scale business. And I listened to the radio news, the Director said that the maximum amount they will give will be N250,000.00. In this present Nigeria? Even if you want to sell banana in Ogbete market. By the time you will secure the shed and pay for the shed, provide the table, buy this and that and your basket, N250,000.00 is gone. It’s just like a drop in the bucket. Giving somebody ten thousand naira to establish a business that will take one million naira, it is another way of tempting the person.
Yes! They said they have their programme they call Poverty Alleviation. From poverty alleviation to Poverty Eradication. From poverty alleviation to Poverty Eradication after fifteen years of the introduction of these two programmes, poverty has been eradicated. We have seen the eradication of poverty now. I am saying that we should face the stark realities of life. We have been fooled for too long but it will be very disastrous for us to join hands with those opposing us to fool our selves. The worst deceit is self deceit. For that reason, I am coming out with something as My own suggestion.
I have made My own suggestions known to the government, whether they will take them or not, but to you that are paying attention to Me, those suggestions are conclusively documented in the booklet, but let Me highlight them. One; Let it be known to you that even if there are opportunities for your recruitment, many of you might not be recruited simply because, you have knowledge but no experience. Experience is by far better than knowledge. You have academic certificates, but you do not have the required skills. Please, don’t strangle Me yet. I mean, we have proved it beyond reasonable doubt.
 I was working in one of our electronic machines that uses electronic configuration card, and there was a problem along the way. I invited a graduate from one of our prominent universities. I called him, he responded. So he came. I told him the problem. He told me exactly where I should go and solve that problem. I said, “Okay, help Me. Here are the tools. We will pay you at the end of the day. Money is not the problem”. He gazed at the machine and said, “Sir, of a truth, I read about it. I have not been exposed to this machine. If I should open it, It then means I will spoil it, but I am telling you, if you go to that point, look at what is causing the trouble. Anybody that is coming to repair it, tell him that I said that this is the problem of the machine”. I said, “Okay, thank you. That’s all I needed”. Straight away, I went there.
I loosened it and My mind never went there, I brought out the card, but behold, it was burnt at one end. So, it lost contact. So, I worked on the card, brushed it, and then inserted it, switched on the machine, the light came. I called him back. “My dear I would like to employ you, if you will be patient with us, for we run what we call on-the-job training”. Why am I narrating this? Please, don’t be ashamed to answer apprentice, if you want to survive. I said, “DON’T BE ASHAMED TO ANSWER APPRENTICE, IF YOU WANT TO SURVIVE”.
Remember, if you humble yourself God will exalt you. Humility is the first step to success. For you to learn something from your junior, you MUST be humble enough. For a graduate engineer to learn something from a technician, may be with ordinary elementary six, he has to humble himself down.
I am saying, whatever might be your profession, as many as are here, remember that the motto of the school is “To Restore the Dignity of Man through labour”. This is Dignity Consult, where professionals are raised. So I don’t believe you will end it being professional loafers.
For that reason, if you want to survive in the present Nigeria, you MUST add skills to your certificate, no-matter how small. EMPHASIS HAS SHIFTED FROM GOVERNMENT EMPLOYMENT TO SELF-EMPLOYMENT. And I want to say that, IT IS BETTER TO BE AN EMPLOYER THAN TO BE AN EMPLOYEE. Some of you might be thinking that those in the civil service are enjoying life. They are not enjoying life. Even with the so-called minimum wage that is causing controversy.
What is the minimum wage? Alhaji Balarabe Musa, the former governor of Kaduna state, said it is nothing but a slave wage and I was wondering why he could not pay civil servants in Kaduna state during his tenure. I mean, the right wage. They collected slave wage! With eighteen thousand naira a month, you think it’s money. I want to tell you it is not money. What civil servants need is not that eighteen thousand naira. They need fringe benefits.
From that eighteen thousand Naira, begin to deduct; National Health Insurance Scheme, Contributory Pension Scheme. These are deductibles from the salary; PAYE, Pay As You Earn, Union dues, whether you belong to association or union, you must pay your dues. At the end of the day, you will notice that the take home pay can never take anybody home. If your take home pay cannot take you home, who do you blame? Your employer or yourself? YOU! Blame yourself not your employer. Did he force you to come and work? Your employer determines your future. And with that type of meagre or misery pittance as salary, your future is very bleak, but you want to be great.
You see, once one secures admission into the university he starts answering great, when they don’t even know the meaning of great. Well. I have taught you what greatness is all about, so that when you achieve greatness, you will know. So I am saying that you MUST humble your self. There are too many areas; I am saying that the sky is too wide for two birds to have head-on collision.
There are too many roads. It is not compulsory that you must look for white collar jobs. Remove your suits. Put your certificates by the side and then, recognize who you are. Your potentialities, your capabilities for you can be better and even richer than the person you are begging to employ you. So, to you Nigerian Youths, especially students, I knew ahead of time that I will be tied to time. For that reason, that which time could not allow Me to say, I decided to document it.
When you get home, go through the lecture. My phone number is 08037845410, I repeat. 08037845410. If you have any difficulty along the way as to what to do in life as a Youth to have a pride of place in the society, call that line, by day or by night. On this note, I say, Thank you very much. (a resounding round of applause and a standing ovation)


Question 1: Sir we really thank you for your speech this afternoon. My question is this: Sir, does it mean that we should encourage the government in not providing jobs in our society today? Sir, we really appreciate the idea of providing jobs for our selves and being the employer of labour rather than a labour employee. Don’t you think that government should do something on their own part? And if we just rely on that the government will feel relaxed and they don’t have anything to do for us since we will be providing jobs for ourselves.
Question 2: Thank you very much sir. My question is this: most of us here and myself ask the question: After school what do we do? In terms of the self employment option where are we going to start? I don’t even know where to start. Secondly, where is the finance? We can’t get loan from the bank and we can get loan any where. Sir, which way forward as a Youth?
Thank you for those two questions. They are very intelligent questions. I wish to say that these questions were highlighted and answered in the booklet. So, government attention has been drawn to the needs of the Youths, so as to check all forms of militancy. So, provision of finance, that one is equally contained in the booklet. What government should do to assist you or what you should do to assist the government, they are all there. I have given you My number. If they are not there or you are not satisfied with what is there, call My number. But I believe you will be satisfied. You know where to go. Even the skill acquisition is there. The places where you can avail your self of these opportunities free of charge. I wouldn’t mind even taking some of you. Let Me stop there.  
I have to congratulate all the members both past and present of Dignity Consult, university of Nigeria. I have to praise the vision of your leaders. We are leaving in a very nice age. The age of information, though there can never be any thing outstanding without information. Once a person is not well informed, he is well deformed. You are either well informed or well deformed. Dignity Consult has come of age by going global. It is really a commendable feat. I said it at the lecture that if it is not nice for a joke, it can never be funny. So, people that though that My presentation at Digital Consult was a very funny one, you can now begin to appreciate that since inception, they had a target; and the target has being realized. I am proud to be a part of Dignity consult and will remain a part of Dignity Consult. Let Me reserve My comments because I know I have a lot to offer. Nine-tenth of an iceberg is always submerged in the sea. Thank you.

Post-Lecture Interview
Apostle Peter Odoemena
The Son of Man
Ray power Fm and the Nation Newspapers Correspondents
Post-Lecture Interview of Apostle Peter Odoemena  (The Son of Man)

Press: Sir may we know you and a little of the lecture today
SOM: I am Apostle Peter Odoemena of the Bride of Christ Ministry Worldwide. In Nigeria today, we can see our Youths clamouring for jobs that do not exist. Reasons are not too farfetched. One is that our academic institutions are tailored in such a way that there is a very wide disparity between their programmes and the needs of the society. So, they hatch out graduates with degrees but without any skill, making it very difficult for them to find places in the society. If they can tailor the academic programmes in all the universities to meet the needs of our society, I mean, there will be hope for our Youths.
Secondly, I said the three indices or fundamental indices of a failed nation are; the inability of that nation to provide gainful employment for their teeming Youths. Number two is the loss of monopoly of the use of force and arms and ammunition by the government. Number three is the inability of government to control the depreciation of her currency, for there is no way the currency of a nation can depreciate without the economy depreciating, which will result to mass unemployment. And this mass unemployment has its own attendant problems which we are suffering today.
All these acts of terrorism, vandalism and anything you can think of, although they are condemnable acts, but there is no way they will not be with us as long as the Youths are discontented. So, government should do something and do it immediately.
Press: What about the civil service?
SOM: In the civil service, anyway, Government knows that it is truth. When I say Government, I mean the three tiers of government. They are all harbouring over aged workers, unproductive and unqualified workers. During the right-sizing and down-sizing exercise, authority was given to the controllers of the states to remove anybody they wanted. So, all that could not, I mean, see eye to eye with them administratively, they removed and then, allowed the dead woods to remain in there. Most of them have falsified their ages, falsified records, so that they will die on their tables. Like you know, it’s a syndrome in Nigeria and Africa in general; nobody wants to vacate from office.
Press: Now, you were talking about the Youths. Let’s look at the issue of crime. The issue of Boko Haram, militancy and other crimes
SOM: The Boko Haram issue started as a political problem, but it’s now taking another shape. It’s now taking a religious shape. But still, the major causes of this militancy are (1) Illiteracy, (2) Unemployment. When the people or a group of people are educated, it becomes easy to lead them along, but when they are not educated, to lead them becomes very difficult. In those areas where the activities of the Boko Haram are very much prevalent, you notice one common feature there. Those areas are educationally disadvantaged areas. The same is applicable to the Niger Delta. All those militant activities in the Niger delta stemmed from; (1) Unemployment, (2) Ignorance.
Press: Let’s talk about the NYSC scheme. For some years now the scheme has come under scrutiny. People are calling for the scrapping
SOM: I am in support of the abolition of the National Youths service scheme because it has out-lived its usefulness. Since it can no longer serve the purpose for which it was established, there is no need keeping it. Rather, it is denying the Youths of the opportunity of getting steady employment
Press: What do you mean by that sir?
SOM: Steady employment I mean, is giving them places where they served as Youths Corpers for one year they were all asked to go to their states, and another set now comes. After one year, that set will go. How do you think those establishments where they did their primary assignments can publish vacancies, when they are enjoying the services of professional hands, without pay? They are not paying them.
So, I am saying, since NYSC cannot re-integrate Nigeria, culturally, socially, politically and otherwise, and is not offering gainful employment to the Youths, and no experience is gained from the service, because they are deployed to places of primary assignment as teachers; none of them are deployed to the banks and places like that. They have little or no experience. They do not even employ them there. So, I am saying, now that it has boiled down to killing, kidnapping, raping, dehumanizing the Youths Corpers, I mean, leaving them at the fate of nature, why allowing this nonsense to continue? The earlier it is scrapped, the better.
PRESS: Sir, you talked about 80% of the Youths getting involved in crime. Now, have you thought of or have you seen its effect on the election; that only these same Youths that you are talking about are the ones that snatched ballot boxes and they are the ones that are also used as thugs? Why is it so, sir?
SOM: It is so because (1) watch the categories of Youths that were used in those hoodlum activities during the electioneering campaigns, they all fall within the same category; the semi-illiterate and the illiterates. Check all of them. So, ignorance is a disease. It breeds every kind of evil. Now, when somebody is ignorant and at the same time unemployed, what do you think he will do? He will do nothing, than what he is hired to do.
Press: But graduates are involved in most of these things, sir.
SOM: In the case of graduates, they are only expressing themselves. They want to be heard. They want to be heard. A graduate cannot stoop so low as to snatching ballot boxes. Never, never.
Press: Sir, they do it for money
SOM: Why is he snatching for money? It is because he has no gainful occupation.
Press: What is your advise generally, sir?
SOM: My advice is that government should do something without delay. To providing employment for the Youths so as to check all these acts of terrorism and militancy that are associated  with mass unemployment of our Nigerian Youths. That’s my opinion.
Press: Thank you for your time, sir. 
 SOM: Thank you.