A debate is a form of public discourse; it is a formal direct oral contest or competition in argumentation between two or more people on a defined proposition at a specific time. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, debate is “a formal discussion on a particular matter in a public meeting or legislative assembly, in which opposing arguments are put forward and which usually ends with a vote.” (The Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd Edition, Edited by J. Simpson and E. Weiner. Clarendon Press, 2010).

A debate, therefore, is a formal, disciplined, and rule-governed contest/competition that is conducted within a set framework. A debate may comprise single participants or teams that include several students. In a typical debate, two teams are presented with a proposition that they will debate, with each team given a set period of time to prepare their arguments. Debates are performed in a structured setting that gives all participants a chance to present and defend their arguments.

A debate builds an individual’s confidence and aura among peers and it is not a coincidence that most revered leaders in the world are orators. This is why events around the world that involves matters of urgencies bring together people who can articulate and express their views in clear terms that convince even the meanest doubters. Understanding the importance of the above, one cannot but learn this tool of public convenience. Having it handy makes one endearing to people. This is why young academics and aspiring leaders are urged to cultivate the culture of public speaking.

In recognition of this veritable tool, the 2018 Nigeria Economics Students Association’s Conference, held at the Nile University of Nigeria, installed debate as the integral component of her programmes.

The under listed topics were few among the topical issues debated by the young emerging economics leaders:

  • The President Muhammed Buhari’s Administration should not implement the N5000 vulnerable benefit because it will discourage the youth from participating actively in productive endeavours.
  • The privatization of government enterprises is the best policy measures to attaining industrialization in Nigeria.
  • The Oil sector if fully harnessed can provide us a comparative advantage than the agricultural sector.
  • Implementing the N30000 minimum wage as proposed by the labour union is in fact the best policy that can reduce unemployment, poverty, hunger and starvation in Nigeria.
  • Active government participation and proactive government policies is a necessary tool to reducing the employment rate in Nigeria.
  • Physical rather than monetary policy is the best tool to attaining full employment in Nigeria.
  • The government should focus more on building the human capital rather than physical capital in other to create long term unemployment in Nigeria.
  • Skill acquisition is far better than university education if substantial reductions in unemployment are to be achieved.
  • In your opinion, what is the key idea that can transform Nigeria in the next 10 years?
  • The government should focus more on training the youth in IT innovations rather than agricultural industry.