Towards ensuring the vast majority of youth in the State are carried along in terms of policy formulation and implementation, the Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Social Development in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund has organized one day program tagged “High Level Meeting With Young Policy Makers And Youth Leaders On Harnessing Demographic Dividend”at the State Treasury Office, Ikeja on Tuesday.

In her speech, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Pharm (Mrs) Toyin Oke-Osanyintolu said “demographic dividend has become necessary because of the significant population changes Lagos State has gone through over the years.It is important to note that the population of youths in Lagos State which stands at approximately 10 million is the highest in the country.Consequently, the role of policymakers and youth leaders cannot be overemphasized in achieving a population structure that would add value to the economy of the State.”

According to the Permanent Secretary,it was the increase in population size accompanied by changes in age that resulted in the creation and eventual commissioning of the Demographic Dividend Initiative in 2015 with the objective to study the population status and determine the investment climate in the State that will bring about short and long term gains to residents of the State.

Pharm (Mrs) Oke-Osanyintolu disclosed that “Lagos State has attained its First Demographic Dividend and on the path to achieving the second.The Roadmap and Profile was launched by Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget in October 2022.Young people in policy making and leadership positions are to be sensitized on their roles in achieving the Second Dividend.”

Head,UNFPA, Lagos State,Dr Somefun Esther noted that the international organization was collaborating with the State in pursuit of its mandate to invest in the youth that would in turn develop the nation.

Equipping the youth with requisite skills and providing them with opportunities are some of the things that the UNFPA has put in place to assist the youth, according to Dr Esther.

In their presentations, the facilitators,Mr Basit Baruwa(Deputy Director, Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget)and Mr Ibrahim Oladimeji(UNFPA Representative) enlightened the participants on “Overview of the Demographic Dividend Profile and Roadmap” and “Youth Angle: Highlighting and Identifying Accelerators Towards Achieving Demographic Dividend In Lagos State” .

The duo pointed out the different ways the youth would be able to identify opportunities, collect and process data as well as utilizing Education, Empowerment and Employments (3Es) in harnessing demographic dividend in Lagos State.