Oladipupo Ramadan Wins 2024 Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative (BBYDI) Inter-Campus Debate Competition

18-year-old Oladipupo Ramadan has emerged overall winner of the 2024 Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative (BBYDI) inter-campus debate competition on debt and tax justice in the South-West.

The debate competition is part of the organisation’s ongoing advocacy campaign on tax and debt justice in the South-West Region, a project it is running in collaboration with CISLAC Tax Justice and Governance Platform and Christian Aid Nigeria.

At the grand finale of the competition in Osogbo, Oladipupo Ramadan, a Lagos State University student, defeated 16 other contestants to emerge champion with a score of 93.5.

The debaters spoke on ‘Navigating the Fiscal Quagmire: Is Accelerated Economic Growth a Viable Strategy for the South West to Overcome its Debt Spiral, or Does the Solution Lie in Tax Reforms’.

Adediran Fawaz, a student of the Osun State University and Michael Barnabas of the University of Ibadan were first and second runners-up in the keenly contested competition, respectively.

The three winners smiled home with cash gifts.

The organisers said the competition sought to build the intellectual capacities of the contestants, examine their understanding of the impact of debts and tax justice on the economic stability of South-West states, and offer viable solutions to the region’s financial challenges.

Sanni Issa-Alausa, the Director of Communications at BBYDI, congratulated the winners and other participants in the debate competition.

He disclosed that 107 students of tertiary institutions across the South-West participated in the preliminary stage, of which 16 advanced to the grand finale.

The Global Director of BBYDI, Abideen Olasupo, commended the students for exhibiting their capacities to critically examine issues of regional and national importance and offer solutions.

The BBYDI boss, who expressed worry over the rising debt profiles of South-West states, reiterated the need for governments in the South-West to reduce their appetite for borrowings, saying such practice was dangerous for the fiscal sustainability and development of the states.

Olasupo, therefore, charged South-West state governments to implement essential financial reforms to enhance their respective states’ fiscal ratings and guarantee sustainable economic growth and development.

He also encouraged the governments to allocate more funds for capital expenditure and prioritise investments in critical sectors like infrastructure, education, health and agriculture, saying this would contribute significantly to the region’s development.

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