The Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, yesterday stated that the National Youth Service Corps greatly shaped the person he is today and contributed immensely to brining out his leadership potentials.
An excited governor Ayade recalled his service year in imo state, where the company he served with, was faced with a very difficult situation where his professional advice was able to redeem the company because of the leadership position his posting placed him. He said the situation had shaped him to be a better person and leader when he received in Calabar, the Director-General, Brigadier General Sulaiman Kazaure and his management team, at the Government House.
According to him l was posted to Imo state to serve in 1988-89 batches, l told myself, that if l am posted to the area that is relevant as a microbiologist, then l know that my future is right. If l am posted to an area where what l read in school is irrelevant, then l know that my life might not have so much value.
“Without any influence, l was posted to 33 breweries where l served as a corper at the quality control unit of the organisation. As the quality control officer , l was responsible for monitoring the whole brewing process which is not out of what l studied in school.”
Giving insight on how he realised his leadership potentials in the course of service, at the brewery company, Ayade posited’ In the course of my stay, this is a very well-known story, the dispelling water from the 33 brewery started contaminating the water from agoba stream which was the main source of drinking water for the whole of the village.
“There was an uprising from the people against the company that they were polluting their major source of drinking water as a company, we needed to resolve the issue, l was just a corper so when the team from France managing the place came in for assessment, while the issue was raised by management that the community was threatening to shut down the brewery because of the pollution of their river. Then, they called a small technical meeting to brief them of the challenge; l raised my hand and gave my own idea of what can be the solution and from there, they took special notice of me and when the branch manager left , l was made to head the quality control unit as a corper.
“So, as a corper, l started being responsible and was charged with a lot of roles where l needed to identify solutions. That is how l went back to the university to do a masters and a Phd IN ENVIROMENTARY TOXICOLOGY. I ended inventing a system that earned 6.5 million Japanese yen. That was the money i used in investing in a company and became a consultant to foreign companies,” he also added.
Ayade, who charged the NYSC to do more to reinvent high ethic and moral amongst young people in country, insisted that the service must set the pace. In the same vein, he bemoaned the attitude and behaviours of people in contemporary Nigeria, especially the shift towards materialism, noting that such represented complete deviation from AfrIcan culture and traditions.
Earlier, the Director-General commended governor Ayade for his positive leadership in the state and appealed for the state government’s assistance in alleviating some of the challenges the service is presently facing in the state