Governor of Lagos State Akinwunmi Ambode says his administration will be engaging the youths in its drive to reposition the state for socio-economic developments, in what he believes will also enable the younger generation maximise their potentials.
He spoke Wednesday at an event to mark this year’s International Youth Day (IYD) organised by the state ministry of youth and social development, saying the greatest assets of any society were youths because of their energy and fresh ideas.
The IYD declared by the United Nations General Assembly on December 17, 1999, is commemorated globally August 12 every year. Aside according youth recognition, the day aims at giving them a voice.
”Youth implies energy, ideas and innovation. Large businesses are being created by young people and I am positive that our youths have ideas and skills that can positively change our society,” the governor said, pointing out the creation of the ministry of employment and wealth creation signalled the determination to engage the young brains.
”As a government, we have set up small business loan guarantee scheme, ministry of employment and wealth creation as well as the employment trust fund for youth to launch their ideas.
”We have also established the office of civic engagement to ensure an inclusive government as well as serve as a channel through which every citizen of Lagos State can share ideas and opinion with the government. I urge youths to take advantage of these opportunities. We will listen and ensure that your opinions are taken into consideration in government policy design,” Ambode said.
Represented by Folashade Jaji, state head of service, the governor emphasised the need for the youth to get qualitative education, saying “well educated, vibrant, disciplined and committed youths are the pride of any society.”
Waheed Ishola, state director, National Orientation Agency (NOA), speaking on “engaging the Nigerian Youths for sustainable national development,” described youths as the engine room of societal development and both the government and the private sector players should encourage them.
”The engagement of youths should not be left to the government alone; parents, religious leaders, private sector, non-governmental organisations and civil society groups should lend their support.
The event also featured match past by the Red Cross Society, Man O’ War, National Youth Service Corps, Boys’ Scout, Girls’ Guides, Royal Rangers Brigade and the Royal Shepherd Brigade.