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Youth Empowerment Is Integral To Achieving T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda, Says Sanwo-Olu

…As FG Commends Initiative, Urges Other State Governors To Emulate Lagos

The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Saturday said youth empowerment, through skills acquisition, is crucial to achieving success of the present administration’s policy on Security and Governance, a crucial pillar of the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda.

Sanwo-Olu stated this on Saturday during the Lagos State Agency for Mass Education’s Year 2020/2021 Vocational Graduation ceremony for an additional batch of 119 newly graduated trainees of Odoragunsin and Addo Vocational Training Centres, held at St. Peters Primary School, Epe.

He expressed satisfaction at the high turnout of youths to learn one vocation or the other at the State’s Vocational Training Centres, noting that the huge turnout was an indication that the future of the country is still bright despite the present security and economic challenges.

The Governor, represented at the event by his Special Adviser on Education, Barrister Tokunbo Wahab, disclosed that the State Government had approved the immediate upgrade of all the Vocational Training Centres to world-class standards, hinting that plans are in place to equip those centres with additional working tools to allow for expansion and more enrolment.

In his remark, the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education, Professor Abba Abubakar Haladu, commended the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for placing youths at the centre of his various vocational and entrepreneurship skills development programmes, envisaging that those efforts would reduce youth restiveness and unemployment-related crimes in the country.

Professor Haladu, speaking through a Director in the Commission, Mrs. Kudirat Olufunke Lawal, noted that engaging youths in vocational training and, subsequently, financial empowerment is crucial to addressing youth restiveness and other social vices such as kidnapping, rape, robbery and other anti-social behaviours.

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While guaranteeing the Commission’s readiness to support the growth of Mass Literacy and Non-Formal Education across the country, he urged other State governors to borrow a leaf from Lagos by initiating similar programmes and policies that would put youths, especially the unemployed, at the centre of development in the country.

The Executive Secretary also applauded the State Government for its non-discrimination in the selection process, adding that Lagos is a mini-Nigeria, as such, its development strategy should be all-inclusive and in the overall interest of the country.

Earlier in her welcome address, the Director, Lagos State Agency for Mass Education, Mrs. Oluwakemi Kalesanwo, explained that a total of 703 graduated from the seven Vocational Centres across the State.

She explained that the State Government had commenced the rehabilitation and construction of an additional block of six classrooms at Odoragunshi Vocational Centre in line with its policy on Security and Governance.

In their goodwill messages, the Eze Ndigbo of Agbowa and Ikosi LCDA, Eze Christopher Udeoha and the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, West Africa Community Investment, Prince Wale Fosudo, noted that the entrepreneurship skills development initiatives would go a long way to address the issue of unemployment while reducing crime significantly in the country.

They advised the graduates to be ready to pay attention to details and perfect finishing, while aiming high to become successful entrepreneurs

Mr. Okpala Emmanuel, a 63-year old ICT graduate from the Centre, thanked the State government on behalf of other trainees, noting that the vocational training programme of the State Government, apart from providing a means of livelihood, could also help aged people like himself to exercise, while away time and rejuvenate to prevent mental retardation.

The highlight of the event was the presentation of vocational competency certificates to all the 119 newly graduated trainees.

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