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Lagos partners NECA on skills acquisition, employment creation model


Lagos state government and the Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) have sealed partnership on skills acquisition for youths and employment creation in the State.

Contained in the partnership include, a survey of needed skills in Lagos State and utilisation of training facilities in private companies across the State.

The partnership, among others, will complement the ongoing Employment Trust Fund (ETF) initiative of the state government for which the sum of N6.25billion has been set aside to be given as soft loans to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) this year.

Director General of NECA, Segun Osinowo, during a courtesy visit to Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, highlighted successes of similar model, funded by the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), as he extended similar offer to the State government.

Apparently impressed, Ambode welcomed the offer and directed relevant ministry and agencies to work out the details.

Besides, the governor said such partnership with the Organised Private Sector (OPS), led by NECA, is long overdue, citing that it aligns with his agenda of creating employment opportunities for the youths, along with security and of lives and property and improvement of social infrastructure.

He said his administration remains committed to exploring various avenues and partnerships to make youths in the state acquire the necessary skills to be gainfully employed as well as become employers of labour and innovators.

According to him, the rate of unemployed youths in the country could spin negatively if collaborative efforts between government and the OPS are not geared towards addressing it.

He said: “We also have a situation where we have the resources, but we do not have the institutional framework and what we have done in the last nine months is to try and find a way to create the institutions and then the framework around it.

“You (NECA) have come with the whole load of institutional framework. So, obviously, this is a partnership that is made in heaven for the people that are out there,” he said.

Continuing, Ambode said: “I want to give an official commitment that we have to improve upon this relationship, it’s a partnership that we must commit ourselves to as a government, whatever it is that you have stated here, I want to tell you that you are just fusing into that whole network of how to take out these younger ones from the unemployment market.

“I want to give you my commitment and you will see also the way we are driving this project, goes to show that we are serious about what we are saying,” he said.

The governor immediately directed the Board of the ETF and the Ministry of Wealth Creation to explore the partnership with NECA.

He added that the long-term goal of his administration is to make youths less dependent on white collar jobs and channel their energy on utilising their skills to become innovators and employers of labour.

Still on the offer, Ambode said: “That you are able to offer us this opportunity shows that Lagos is up for prosperity. This has not happened before, where you have eminent collaboration coming from employers and also us from a government.

“In areas of skill acquisition, you have so much to offer and the truth is that we need to dissipate the energy of our young ones to different things that can enhance their creativity and that way, we as older people have better ways to live a more comfortable life,” he said.

Earlier, Osinowo said that creating jobs for youths would go a long way to address issues of insecurity and poverty among the people.

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