The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins has reiterated the need for all stakeholders and government at all levels to create an enabling environment for the young people to thrive in their undertakings.
Archbishop Martins said efforts should be intensified in creating a conducive environment in order to positively harness the gifts and talents of the youthful population for the emancipation of a greater Nigerian nation.
The Archbishop made the observation at the recent graduation of the 32 pioneer graduates of St Augustine University, Ilara, Lagos State.
The Catholic Clergy, who is the proprietor of the University, noted that the graduation ceremony provides an opportunity to draw the attention of all stakeholders, particularly the government to the plight of the young people and the entire citizenry.
“We cannot fail to use an opportunity such as this to call attention to the need for the creation of the atmosphere necessary for the blooming of talents and the positive use of youthful energy for the growth of our country, Nigeria. An atmosphere of insecurity and lack of adequate basic infrastructure cannot be friendly to the young”, he said.
He continued: “Without prejudice to what government at different levels may be doing, the fact is that insecurity is very much with us in all corners of our country. The problems associated with insecurity, lack of electric power supply, good roads, potable water and decent housing in good quantity are making it impossible for all citizens to live well and are not giving the young ones a leeway to begin their lives. We call on all concerned, especially the Federal Government but also government at all levels, to do more for the young people in particular and for the entire citizenry in general”.
The university proprietor also noted that the institution has, with its characteristic Catholic tradition tried to form the graduating students into men and women with philanthropic and altruistic values consistent with the motto of the university
“We hope we have succeeded in giving you three gifts: KNOWLEDGE which derives from learning, INTEGRITY which comes from character and CONFIDENCE which is the fruit of learning and character. Please go with these gifts and conquer the world, make a new world by living out the values inherent in the motto of this hallowed institution.
“Each of you should be the change that we need in our country. Be ambassadors of your alma mater and we look forward to the formation of a strong Alumni Association with you as the foundation members”, the Archbishop further stated.
He thanked all those who have contributed in making the university a reality. He also congratulated the pioneer Vice-Chancellor, Professor Steve Afolami, the Principal Officers, the entire Management Team and all staff of the University for their contribution to the success story.
Archbishop Martins said the convocation ceremony is a testimony of faith and resilience.
He congratulated the graduating students saying: “For you, the wonderful thirty-two young men and women graduating today, this event is the beginning point for greater achievements in your lives; while for the rest of us, it is a testimony to our faith that with God on our side, we can do great things, it is a victory for resilience and hard work”.
He urged them to go into the world and impact positively on the society, following their holistic formation in the context of Catholic values and virtues.
“Now that you have got the tools you need to launch into the deep waters of the world and leave your marks on the sand of time, we ask you to go with courage and determination, lock your focus on positive goals and create in you a disposition for hard work”, he added.
Stressing the importance of hard work as an essential factor for success, the Archbishop reminded the 32 pioneer graduating students: “There is no viable alternative to hard work. There is no short cut to success; you have to go by the long route of hard work. As you graduate, you go into a country and a world that is at the same time full of opportunities as it is not very friendly to the young. If you take advantage of the opportunities and exert yourselves using your God-given talents and initiatives, we believe you will be able to surmount the challenges that the world of today throws in your paths”, he stressed.