Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, says Nigerians spend too much time praying for solutions to their problems when they should be using their brains and hands to fix those problems instead.
Fashola was speaking at BRF GABFEST 2018, an event organized in the minister’s honor to celebrate his 55th birthday at the Lagos City Hall on Thursday, June 28, 2018.
BRF GABFEST 2018 had as its theme: ‘The youth in Nigeria, mapping the future’.
“Nothing entitles you to anything”, Fashola told young people at the event. “The day problems seize, the government loses relevance. I often tell my team that the only reason why you have governments is because there are problems to be solved.
Only those who are ready to take up other people’s problems alongside theirs should go into public service to solve those problems”.
Fashola also said parents have to do more to bring up their kids in the right way so that those kids can see themselves as problem solvers and not an entitled bunch.
“I always tell my young team that let’s look for a few problems we can solve and deal with them. Most of the life-saving skills I learned were not from my parents but my grandparents.
Whatever you know, try to explain it to your children in their local language. Understanding is deeper when learning is in the mother tongue. We are spending too much time praying in Nigeria. We are spending too much time partying.
“We have to produce and spend more time doing hard work. I like the Not-Too-Young-To-Run movement. But there are only about 11,800 elective posts in Nigeria. It is not enough”, Fashola said, adding that young people would be better off seeking to make a difference outside of politics and public service.
Those who attended
Politicians like Musiliu Obanikoro, Muiz Banire, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, technocrats like Mrs. Ibukun Awosika and businessmen like Femi Otedola and Aliko Dangote, among other elite and young people across all fields of endeavor in Nigeria, graced the event.
BRF GABFEST will be held annually henceforth and will seek to proffer solutions to Nigeria’s numerous problems through rigorous intellectual debates and policy discourses.
Fashola’s speechwriter, Mr. Terfa Tilley-Gyado, said the minister’s team and friends chose to celebrate him in an intellectual environment at the Lagos City Hall “because that’s what the man would have wanted”.