Youth training and empowerment has been described as a viable way of building a new generation of leaders with positive mindsets for volunteerism and leadership.
The wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, stated this during the official closing ceremony of the 2021 IBILE Youth Academy organised by the Ministry of Youth and Social Development and held at the Abesan Youth Centre, Ipaja.
The Ibile Youth Academy, according to the First Lady, was designed to build a new generation of leaders with positive mindsets that embrace the virtue of citizenship, leadership and volunteerism for self-development.
Represented by the wife of TG/PS Education District IV, Mrs. Foluke Olajide, the First Lady maintained that concerted efforts must be geared towards discovering and nurturing the positive energy of our burdened youth population, saying “One of the best ways to do this is what the IBILE Youth Academy is exemplifying”.
Mrs. Sanwo-Olu said, “This initiative will help our youths push boundaries, build their confidence and harness their personal development, which in turn will contribute to the growth and development of our dear State and, by extension, the Nation”.
“The State Government has continued to provide impactful platforms for youth and other age classes for them to make a lasting impact on the society”, she added.
While reaffirming that the Sanwo-Olu administration will continue to prioritise youth welfare in its agenda, the First Lady advised the youth population to resolve to also contribute their quota to nation-building.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr. Olusegun Dawodu, said that Lagos has the highest youth population in the country, which confers a huge responsibility on the State to seriously address challenges that come with the huge youth population.
According to him, “The evolving social-economic issues, new and innovative opportunities are some of the peculiarities of youths in the State. This shows the need to develop a programme that will further harness youth potentials in Lagos State”.
Dawodu revealed that the initiative has been held consistently over the past three years and has continued to produce State Youth Ambassadors and Divisional Ambassadors, who have implemented various pet projects and programmes to address peculiar issues in their communities.
The Commissioner, while congratulating the Ambassadors, implored them to step out in confidence to push boundaries and make themselves exemplary in their various communities and divisions.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Olugbemiga Aina, expressed optimism that the present youth ambassadorial team is ready to surpass the achievements of the previous sets, through their constructive contributions to the development of their communities.
He reiterated the government’s commitment to continue to work and encourage the civil society groups and other stakeholders to partner with youths in various areas of employment, entrepreneurship, political inclusion and others that will create a better future.
In her remarks, the Coordinator of the initiative, Mrs. Rasheedat Umar said that the programme began with a three-day virtual training for over 750 young people across the five divisions of the State, whereby 50 participants were carefully selected from each division for a one-day physical training.
Umar explained that at the end of the one-day training, the best 10 were selected from each division for a seven-day residential training, where they were taken through different leadership topics and tasks.
The new Y2021/2022 Youth Ambassador, Miss Funmilayo Akannishelle, representing the Ikorodu Division, expressed her fulfilment, and that of other participants, with the training and skills acquired during their stay in camp.
In her words, “It was an intensive training and we were taught how to be patriotic citizens and great leaders in our various communities, the State and Nigeria as a whole”.
Other divisional ambassadors are Miss Aminat Onike-Azeez from the Ikeja Division; Miss. Salome Faith Hunpatin from Badagry Division; Mr. Qudus Shodunke from Lagos Division and Mr. Gbolabo Femi-Jolayemi from Ikorodu Division.
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