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Lagos begins youth empowerment initiatives to tackle unemployment

By Gbenga Salau
08 June 2021   |   2:25 am
The Lagos State government has commenced a youth empowerment programme targeted at final year students and those in penultimate classes in higher institutions.

Lagos Stategovernor Babajide Sanwo-Olu. Photo: TWITTER/JIDESANWOOLU

The Lagos State government has commenced a youth empowerment programme targeted at final year students and those in penultimate classes in higher institutions.
The programme targets 8000 entrepreneurs. At present, 8000 penultimate and final year students drawn from all the higher institutions in the state are undergoing entrepreneurship and employability skills training programme, sponsored by the state government under its Jobs Initiative Lagos (JIL)
The JIL, according to the Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Education, Tokunbo Wahab, is aimed at preparing participants for immediate entry into the workforce as employees and employers of labour, by equipping them with the new market-aligned knowledge, soft skills, business tools, and a mindset re-orientation that will make them suitable and qualify for their chosen career in the technology-driven world of work.

Wahab, represented at the opening ceremony of the programme by Sanwo- Olu’s Senior Special Assistant on Tertiary Education, Youths and Students Relations, Omotayo Sanya-Olu explained that the selected 8000 students would be trained in core areas such as soft skills, resume writing, work etiquettes, presentation and pitching, corporate email drafting, negotiations skills, interviewing techniques, microsoft suites, microsoft powerpoint presentations, microsoft word, microsoft excel, microsoft outlook and entrepreneurship skills development.
The special adviser further explained that the state government came up with the initiative to up-skill youths in the state by equipping them with all necessary skills that would not only make them employable and highly competitive in the global market, but make their services highly essential for national economic growth, thus remain relevant in the 21st-Century global digital economy.
“Mr Governor has designed this laudable JIL programme to up-skill our youths in the penultimate and final year classes and equip them with all necessary skills that will make them not only to be employable and highly competitive in the global market but make their services remain relevant and essential for national economic growth in the 21st-Century global digital economy.
“We have equally designed an all-inclusive entrepreneurship programme that will teach participants how to launch and run a successful new business of their own with an in-depth knowledge of business development strategies and risk factors that will help them to stabilize in the global competitive markets,” Wahab explained.
Wahab, who appealed to the participants to justify the government’s huge investment in the project by maximising the benefits of the training through active participation, attentiveness and total cooperation with their facilitators, urged them to shun any form of vices that could undermine government good intentions.
Earlier in her remarks, Assistant Project Coordinator, LoftInc Allied Partners Limited, the organisation collaborating with the state government on the training programme, Olatokunbo Aiyenimelo disclosed that the state government in partnership with her organisation had earlier trained about 28000 youths in the first phase of the scheme, adding that professionals and experts in different areas were on ground to take participants through in various skills development programmes.
While commending the state government for the initiative, the Chairman, University of Lagos Students Union Council, Adesanya Sodeeq Olawale, also a beneficiary, said the programme would help to develop their potential skills, while preparing them for the challenges required for good jobs and entrepreneurship skills. 
In the same way, former Lagos State Polytechnic Students’ Union President, Emmanuel Olamide, noted that the programme was an insight into the world of work, urging other states government to emulate Lagos State by initiating other youth development programmes to reduce crime to the barest minimum.