I Would Have Been a Post-Master But My Passion Swayed Me to the Court, Says Fashola
The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, has given a glimmer of hope to young Nigerians who wish to excel through hard work, stressing that you can achieve real success and attain any height in life by being lawful and dutiful. He was guest at a group mentoring programme for entrepreneurs organised by Young Business Leaders of Nigeria (YBLN) in Lagos.
Using his life as a template Fashola, a lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said but for his passion for litigation as a young lawyer fresh at the Bar he may have ended up as a post master.
After graduating from University of Benin (UNIBEN) and was called to the Bar his father presented him with the opportunity to work with the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST). “In those days working with NIPOST was a dream job”, he recalled but he turned down the “fantastic opportunity”, opting instead to work in a chamber and pursue his passion for litigation law.
According to him, the choice to practice law afforded him the opportunity to help humanity, build an entrepreneurial spirit and more importantly develop inherent skills in litigation.
“I had a different passion and that was being in the courtroom; I therefore had to go for my dream to find a job that would help my career. It took me a while before I could get a job and that meant I was jobless for several months after NYSC”, he said.
Fashola encouraged the young entrepreneurs to pursue their careers with a view to realising their potentials. “I am happy to see young people doing great things in their various areas of business. The better Nigeria, we hoped for begins with us,” Fashola told the 20 emerging entrepreneurs.
Making reference to a movie: ”The men who built America”, he urged participants to emulate the passion and enthusuiasm of those characters in their aim to change America.
The 20 entrepreneurs were selected from over 3,000 applications nationwide. They were taken through business and entrepreneurship coursework, complemented by an integrated programme of leadership training, peer collaboration, experiential learning opportunities and community activities. At the end of the program, each participant would have access to special credit facilities at low interest rates and, in return, are expected to employ a minimum of five persons before December 2016.
Organisers of the programme said it is their contribution to build young Nigerians and prepare them as leaders, business people and patriots.