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‘Lagos youth population potential asset for rapid economic transformation’

By Kehinde Olatunji 
10 December 2022   |   5:43 am
Experts have described Lagos State’s youth population as a potential asset for further rapid economic transformation of the state and the country.

[FILES] Youths. Photo/facebook/IAOkowa

Experts have described Lagos State’s youth population as a potential asset for further rapid economic transformation of the state and the country.

The expert said it was important for the state government to continue guiding and harnessing the energy, enterprise and innovativeness of its youth to boost its Gross Domestic Products (GDP).

They spoke at a one-day training tagged ‘Harnessing demographic dividend high-level meeting with young policymakers and youth leaders,’ facilitated by the Lagos Bureau of Statistics (the agency responsible for DD in the state) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Participants included, among others, 40 young people in policy-making and leadership positions. Deputy Director, Lagos State Ministry of Planning and Budget, Mr. Basit Baruwa, who spoke on the ‘Overview of the demographic dividend profile and roadmap’ described demographic dividend as economic growth brought on by a change in the structure of a country’s population, usually a result of a fall in fertility and mortality rates.

He noted that the demographic dividend comes with increase in the working population’s productivity, which is a boost to per capita income.

Baruwa noted that population can either be a burden or a blessing, depending on the kind of policies, programmes and projects that the government has in place.

Permanent Secretary Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Mrs. Toyin Oke-Osanyintolu, said demographic dividends have become necessary because of the significant population changes Lagos State has gone through over the years.

“The population of the state is estimated at approximately 25 million of which 60 per cent are young people between the ages of 15 and 35. It is important to note that the population of youths in Lagos, which stands at approximately 10 million, is the largest in the country.

“Consequently, the role of policymakers and youth leaders cannot be overemphasised in achieving a population structure that would add value to the economy of the state.”

The organisers noted that the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget launched the Demographic Dividend Roadmap and Profile in October 2022.

They added that Lagos has attained the 1st Demographic Dividend (DD) and is on the path to achieving the 2nd Demographic Dividend.

“Therefore, it is important that young people, especially those involved in some policy-making and leadership positions, be sensitised on their roles in achieving the 2nd DD.”

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