In this interview with Vanguard, Treasure Osamor, a corps member of 2018 Batch B Stream 1 who provided classroom facilities for pupils of Model Science Primary School, Garki Village, FCT opened up on some fundamental issues bordering on development in Nigeria alongside what motivated her projects during the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). AROGBONLO ISRAEL reports...
May we meet you
My name is Treasure Osamor Ebele. I am from OgwashiUku in Delta State. I could describe myself as an optimistic, goal-oriented and self motivated young lady.
Tell us about your educational background
I had the first 10 years of my education in Akwa Ibom State where I acquired my Nursery and Primary school education. My secondary education was done in Victory Int'l High school, Port Harcourt. I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the Universe of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. In addition, I am a graduate member of the Nigerian Institute of Management. I was posted for my National Youth Service in July 2018 as a 2018 Batch B stream 1 corps member.
What motivated your recent project
I was motivated by the need to create an impact in the lives of women and children in my host community. I looked for problems related to poverty alleviation and quality education. I found it and solved it by constructing desk/chairs for children who sit on the floor to learn and for the women, I empowered three indigent women of the village with grinding machines. These projects were commissioned in June 2019 before my passing out, but i don't really like attention and I didn't see the need to post it on social media, because my joy and fulfillment was already complete by seeing those smiles on the faces of the women and children. I decided to bring it to limelight this month just to encourage every young person out there that the change we desire begins with us.
Your monthly allowance during the service year is #19,800, how were you able to achieve such a laudable project?
I remember seeing some comments on Vanguard News community post, some people said that my father must be a rich man, some said I am a rich corper that's why I could carry out such projects. Well, that Is not true. I am from a very average Nigerian home. My dad is a retired staff of the NYSC while my mum has been a government primary school teacher for over 30years. When I identified the problems in my host community, I was moved with compassion therefore I wrote letters to well meaning individuals and organisations, I trekked the streets of Abuja dropping letters with organisations. Some chased me away while some listened to me. My philosophy is, I don't need to have everything to do something. I don't need to be Dangote's daughter before touching lives around me the little way I can and I'm grateful to God that NYSC gave me such opportunity.
What's your take on purposive leadership and the role of youth towards national development?
Purposive leadership is the hope of Nigeria's future. Purposive leadership is set on clearly defined objectives. With this, leaders can be evaluated based on these defined Goals. As for the role of youths towards national development, I believe in youth inclusion in National development. This can be achieved by involving youths in policy making, peace keeping operations, agricultural and industrial projects that foster national development especially from the grassroot level.
There is one or more challenges to every success story. What would you say your major challenges are in the course of carrying out this project?
Wow. The question brings back memories. My major challenge was the effect the running around had on my business. I make snacks and zobo to sell at my place of primary assignment just to support my allowance. So some days I had to forgo business and focus on my community development projects. Secondly, I had the challenge of funds. It got to a stage where I almost gave up. However my resilient and goal getting spirit wouldn't let me give up. Thirdly, I'll say language barrier was a challenge at the community entry stage. But with my excellent interpersonal skill, I was able to win the hearts of the village people.
If you are given the opportunity to lead Nigeria, what would you do that will be different from what Mr. President is doing?
Hmmm (smiles). If I was to be president of Nigeria, I would identity with the voices of the people at the grassroot. I would ensure I create avenues for youth inclusion in the nation's sustainable development strategies. I am a very down to earth person, so I would first of all see myself as a servant to the masses before a leader.
What are your plans for the next five years?
My plans for the next five years is to further my studies on sustainable development and gain more experience in this field which I'm very passionate about. Secondly, I envision strategic ways of expanding my events and catering business to the point where it will be creating massive job opportunities. Thirdly, I wish to work together with Federal Government, contributing my skills to promote sustainable development at all grassroots.
Your advice to the Nigerian youths on the need to take up responsibilities as when deemed fit.
My advice to Nigerian youths (sighs).... I'll advice us all to do away with the mentality of 'what will the Government do for us' and embrace voluntary and selfless services. Nigeria will be built by Nigerians. The youths make up 60% of the nation's population so we really need to change our mindset towards national development and make it a collective effort not a 'government only' effort. I urge Nigerian youths to wake up, stand strong and aim high. Nigeria's ours, Nigeria we serve.