While commemorating the 2023 International Youth Day (IYD), foremost youth leadership organization, Junior Chamber International (JCI) Nigeria has honored another set of 10 young outstanding Nigerians at its 2023 Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) program held in Lagos.
The JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of Nigeria (JCIN TOYP) is the organization’s signature program that honors ten outstanding young people under the age of 40 every year.
Speaking at the awards presentation, the 2023 JCIN President, JCIN Amb. Abdulahi Attahiru Bala commended the honorees for what they are doing for humanity, and for shaping and providing opportunities to be an inspiration for every other young person.
Bala said the theme of the event: “Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World” provided an opportunity for every young person at the event to garner knowledge that can help them stay ahead with every activity in an eco-friendly manner.
“We have to be very sensitive and deliberate about ensuring we make green our activities and reduce emissions into the environment”, Bala said.
“We are celebrating ten outstanding young persons and IYD. JCI TOYD is actually meant to celebrate people that have distinguished themselves in various facets of life, specifically 10 areas of life and it is for us to celebrate them and also provide a platform that continues to amplify what they do.
“We have been doing this for years in JCI and it is also being recognized in JCIN for years.
“For IYD, of course, this is a fixed date globally that recognizes youths in the world and for us as a youth-led organization that provides leaders, it is important for us to commemorate this day and also engage youth towards building their leadership capacity”, the 52nd JCI Nigeria president noted.
The recognition is organized to recognize and applaud great efforts deployed by enterprising young leaders at nation-building and far-reaching impact across Nigeria covering 10 categories: Academic Leadership Category; Business, Economic, and Entrepreneurial Category; Scientific and/or Technological Development Category; Political & Legal Category; Personal Improvement Category; Moral and or Environmental Leadership; Contribution to Children, World Peace and or Human Right; Medical Innovation; Cultural Achievement and Humanitarian and or Voluntary Leadership Category.
The Chief Executive Office of Baobab+, JCI Sen. Kola Osinowo who was the theme speaker at the event noted that the theme: “Green skills for youth: Towards a sustainable world”, is very apt and essential as “we march into the era of net zero and energy transitioning in Nigeria”.
Osinowo noted that his address highlights the fact that Nigerians do not have a choice but to acknowledge the impact of climate change across Nigeria.
“We see the impact of climate change irrespective of our own actions and inactions in the world today”. he noted.
He highlighted the key green skills required for youths to tap into to help them in securing a place for themselves in the future workplace.
He also said that the commemoration of IYD resonates deeply with the young people especially with those are climate-related actions that are assumed to be out of people’s control. “We live in a world today whether we like it or not we will be forced to transit when it comes to our energy source” he noted.
Speaking on the exploits of the honorees, Osinowo noted that he is always excited to celebrate young people doing good work. “There’s nothing that is as good as being recognized by your peers for the kind of work that you do. and with such recognition we encourage them to do more”, he advised.
In his opening remarks earlier, the TOYP Chair, JCIN Amb. Ayodeji AKinwande said the event marks a very important day when “we get to celebrate youths in Nigeria and also celebrate youths that have done outstandingly well in our organization and the society”.
Explaining the rationale behind the theme, Akinwande noted: “As youths today, we need to understand that we have the opportunity to make our world the way we want it to be and it is important to note that nothing is actually impossible and one of the key ways to achieve this is to ensure that we all play our respective roles in the society.
He noted that actions around green initiatives are the way young people can only make society and our future a better place.
Speaking on the sideline at the event, 2015 JCI Nigeria President, JCI Senator Seun Osikalu expressed excitement about the progress made with the program.
Osikalu stated: “I feel excited the same way I always feel every year when I get invited to the TOYP. It is a beautiful program that was conceived to reward young people that are doing exceptional work in their chosen fields.
It was revealed that two of the JCIN TOYP honourees; Ola Olasunbo and Blessing Eze, have been nominated among the top 30 young outstanding persons at the global level of TOYP, while Olasunbo made it to the top 20, indicating that the selection process is rigorous and unveiling the enterprising youths that can compete globally.
The 2023 TOYP Honourees are: Abdulhaleem Ishaq Ringim – Personal Improvement and or Accomplishment Category, Afolayan Taiwo Ibrahim – Humanitarian and or Voluntary Leadership Category, Alamu Azeez – Academic Leadership and or Accomplishment Category, Ayo-Bankole Akintujoye – Business Economic and Entrepreneurial Accomplishment Category, Bakare Mubarak – Cultural Achievement Category and Bisola Alabi – Scientific and or Technological Development Category.
Others include: Blessing Okojie Eze – Contribution to Children, World Peace and or Human Right Category, Hadji Kwame Ahmed – Political, Legal and or Governmental Affairs Category, Idris Ola – Medical Innovation Category and Ridwan Abdulganiyu – Moral and or Environmental Leadership Category.
Prominent Nigerians who are past recipients include: Taaooma, Asisat Oshoala, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Linda Ikeji, Rotimi Amaechi, Daddy Showkey, Shina Peters, Kanu Nwankwo, and Japheth Omojuwa, Nduka Obaigbena; Femi Anikulapo-Kuti, Gbenga Sesan, Ray Ekpu, Kafayat Shafau, Japheth Omojuwa, Seyi Awolowo, Adebowale Adedayo and Ndidi Nwuneli.