The Lagos State Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr. Olusegun Dawodu, has restated the government’s determination to groom a self-dependent, self-reliant and business-oriented crop of youths to curb unemployment.
The Commissioner spoke during the Y2021 Ministerial Press Briefing held in Alausa to mark commemorate the second anniversary of the Sanwo-Olu administration, explaining that the youth-centred programmes and policies of the State government are geared to positively impact the lives of youths.
He said, “Lagos State has a youth population estimated to be 10 million out of the 23 million people. As a State Government that is youth-friendly, we have been mapping out strategies to enhance, develop and create opportunities to maximise the inherent opportunities in having a large youth population. This has always been a top priority of the present administration”.
According to him, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and #EndSars protest that rocked Lagos last year, the government was still able to carry out many youth-focused activities and programmes geared towards enhancing their physical and mental health, personal and cognitive capacity, creativity and competence among others.
Dawodu maintained that the establishment of modern youth centres, such as the remodelled Abesan Youth Centre, is aimed at cultivating and enhancing young talents, adding that seven others would be completed in the coming months in Badagry, Epe, Obalende-Ikoyi, Orile-Agege, Ibeju Lekki, Surulere and Ikorodu.
The Commissioner said other programmes undertaken to celebrate youths included the Y2020 International Youth Day held in collaboration with the National Youth Council, Youth Ambassadors and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); and a two-day seminar on Sexuality Reproductive Health for Youth and Adolescent attended by 240 female youth students from different Secondary Schools in Lagos.
He said: “The Ministry also collaborated with ‘Fourth April’, a digital marketing academy, to train 30 youths on Digital Marketing Skills at Isheri Youth Centre, while a mentoring programme tagged – “Time Out with Youth/Influencer in the State”, was held to develop youths and equip them with skills to contribute their quota towards attaining the megacity status of the State”.
“These programmes among others underscore the present administration’s commitment to a legacy of youth-centred development activities and programmes that are designed as a means of promoting equitable economic prosperity for all youths resident in the State”, he added.
Noting that the Ministry has been partnering with various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), like the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, Agriculture, Tourism, Arts and Culture and other Non-Governmental Organisations to ensure that youths are gainfully employed, Dawodu urged the young people to seize the opportunity and key into the programmes and policies that would help them acquire skills for self-employment.