As part of the measure to engage and prepare youths for nations development, Lagos State Government has promised to embark on more programmes and projects that orientate as well as model youths towards contributing their quota to building a strong Nigeria in 2021.
The government added that the programmes and projects would be based on various Youth Dialogue and Engagement, Skills Training, Employability and Employment opportunities, among others.
Addressing youths at a mentoring session tagged “Time out with young influencers” held in Ikeja, Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Segun Dawodu, stated that the programmes and projects would not be forced on the beneficiaries, youths, rather would be based on submissions made by the youth at the event.
Dawodu noted that to guide the youths on their activities was why the event was organised to provide a mentoring platform on how to make use of their influence to improve the status of the country.
According to him ” The Lagos State Government will be coming up with more Youth Based Programmes and projects for the benefits of our youth next year. This will be based on various Youth Dialogue and Engagement, Skills Training, Employability and Employment opportunities, among others.
“One of such programmes is the Graduate Internship Placement Programme which just kicked off. This involves the placement of 4,000 youths, after training with Employers for a period of 6 months, with their monthly allowance paid by the State Government”, he added.
Dawodu, who was represented by a Director in the Youth Department of the Ministry, Abdul Lateef Saka, acknowledged the influence of youths on their peers during EndSARS protest, stressed that rather than sensitising the youths to engage in lawlessness, youth leaders and influencers could leverage on the power which they have to encourage their peers to engage in nation-building.
He maintained that the State Government knows the pivotal position which the youth population occupies in development of the state hence the provision of different platforms for youth engagement.
Dawodu said ” the present and successive government in the State had engaged young people to be part of policy formulation and implementation. Lagos Youth Parliament and IBILE Youth Academy (The Lagos State Youth Ambassadors) had produced young people who have contributed positively to the growth of the State. ”
Earlier, one of the mentors at the event, Abbas Agbaje, who spoke on “My Lagos, My Future”, stated that there was a need for restructuring of the minds whereby the focus will be on how to build systems and institutions that will guarantee the rights of Lagosians.
According to him, the society needs people who are committed to enriching the lives of Lagosians just as he urged the youth population to use their voice in a coordinated manner to address the ills in the society.
Another speaker, Tope Makodigbe, appealed to the participants to influence the relationship between leaders and followers, saying, this is the way that can lead to real change and outcomes that reflect shared purpose.
Makodigbe stated that Lagos state has the highest population of young people in Nigeria and that their energy, resourcefulness and vibrancy have contributed to the economic growth of the state through involvement in entertainment, fashion and art design.
She, therefore, urged youths not to just complain but find solutions to whatever problem the country might be going through, that while they are providing solution they are in effect creating opportunities to make their lives better.