By Ezra Odogu
The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has described the youth as a major force in building a greater and sustainable Lagos, as well as a better future for the nation.
He said that the youth segment is an essential key in the development of any nation, because they have the potential and capacity to make change happen for themselves, their communities and for the rest of the world.
In a statement he issued on Monday in commemoration of the National Youth Day, the Governor stressed the importance of youths to building a greater, sustainable Lagos and Nigeria.
Governor Sanwo-Olu explained that the National Youth Day celebration has been set aside to celebrate Nigerian youth and the contributions they make, as well as highlighting issues affecting them with the aim of tackling these issues to support them.
While further revealing that his administration is youth-friendly and inclusive, Sanwo-Olu said: “We have embarked on the implementation of a series of Youth engagements and empowerment activities and programmes through various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
“These youth programmes and initiatives are part of the effort to address issues bothering on youth development and empowerment in the entrepreneurial, agriculture, Information Technology and Leadership skills among other facets of life.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu also noted that his administration has implemented mindset changing and reorientation programmes to build the capacity of young people in Lagos State to think positively and take up their role in nation building.
Some of these programmes according to Governor Sanwo-Olu include the Lagos State Youth Leadership Initiative known as the IBILE Youth Academy, which produced Youth Ambassadors that are already making waves as change makers in their communities, implementing various life touching and empowering pet projects leveraging on local collaboration and resources.
He said: “The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund is supporting young people with great entrepreneurship skills and ideas to establish and nurture their businesses on the path of sustainable growth and profitability.
“The agripreneurship programme has created opportunities for young people in the agriculture value chain as well as the Graduate Internship Placement project which we are currently implementing through the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment.
“Also in the area of Information Technology, the Lagos Codes and Software training programme has upskilled a number of young people within and outside of school in building critical skills demanded in the workplace. We have also witnessed 22 start-ups headed by young people in the areas of agric-tech, ed-tech etc all funded by the Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council”.
Governor Sanwo-Olu also revealed that the first Lagos Police Youth Dialogue was recently organised “towards strengthening the relationship between them and creating a synergy that will improve both their interaction and security situation in the State.”
Sanwo-Olu while reaffirming his commitment not to rest his oars in engaging and empowering the teeming youths in the journey towards a Greater Lagos, advised them to utilise their skills and potentials in significantly rebuilding the state and nation for the best of all the citizens.