Group tasks youth on government empowerment projects
The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Alhaji Abdulahmed Mustapha, has urged youths in Lagos State to tap into available development and empowerment packages introduced by the state government to boost youth empowerment in the state.
While addressing participants at a Webinar, organized by The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, Lagos Area Unit, theme ‘Post -COVID-19: Youth’s Future and the New Normal’, the permanent Sectary who represent the Head of Service, Lagos state, Mr. Hakeem Muri Okunola, said the state government has reeled out many youth development and empowerment programmes to tackle youth unemployment in the state. He noted that enhancing the skills of the youth is an imperative that cannot be ignored if the government wants to successfully address the devastating socio-economic effects of the pandemic on the youth.
According to him, “We cannot go back to the way we were before COVID-19, the pandemic has affected all areas of life. There are lots of areas that are unfilled that people have to fill. We need to produce more skills to overcome the challenges.”
Mustapha added that Lagos State Government has recognised the strategic importance of equipping young people with skills for employment and Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration is trying to overcome the challenges by ensuring artisans are well trained.
“In an effort to overcome these challenges, the Lagos State Government has created an ICT centre at Yaba, a fashion hub in Ikeja and a fishery hub in Epe. With this we hope, we will be able to create an environment that will allow the youth of Lagos State to bring their ideas and have all the necessary supports.”
According to him,” The state government is deploying technologies across the cities that will enable communities to access the government’s e-services, which will improve the efficiency of vital government programmes.
“We are rolling out smart cities. We are laying fibers to every nook and crannies of Lagos State. Likewise, we are providing support to electricity distributors in order for residents to enjoy 20 hours of uninterrupted electricity in the state. With the availability of this rollout, for you as a student, you would have access to technological advancement.”
The National Amir of MSSN, Dr. Taofeeq Yekinni, said people having appropriate skillset is the direction of the current world “academic excellence is more than making good grades, it has more to do with knowing and applying skills to societal needs. When you are talking about education and development, it is not about how many first classes you have, but how many societal problems you can solve using the knowledge that you have.”
He said lack of an enabling environment has deprived Nigeria of the direct benefits of investment in education.
According to him, “Nigeria needs to reorient itself in terms of educational pursuit and individual adjustment. Governments all over the world invest actively in research and development, which is a critical point in enabling the citizens, but Nigeria is not doing much in that regard.
“ Though we spend so much in tertiary education, anybody that goes to public university would probably have been subsidized with nothing less than 70 percent but the benefit is being reaped by other nations because when we attain that education, we go out of the country to benefit other nations.
“So many medical doctors are outside the country, likewise other professionals are outside the country benefiting from the monetary remittances other nations. Though Nigeria would claim they are benefiting by returns from those outside the country but this is not what we should be having.”
Yekinni stated that the excellent attainment of individuals would lead to societal development, while the individual inventions will lead to global technological advancement.
“Education is the tool which can sharpen the human mind,” he said. “Allah (s.w.t) sharpens the mind of the Muslim with the Quran. Personal learning is a life long empowerment process, which will help individuals in their intra and interpersonal understanding and achievement.”
He advised youths to pursue education with seriousness to achieve academic excellence.