LCCI tasks Sanwo-Olu on expansion of youths employability programme
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has urged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to deepen his administration’s collaboration with employers and institutions of higher learning to further develop effective mechanism that will address the issue of youths’ employability in the state.
Director General of LCCI, Dr. Chinyere Almona, made the call recently at the passing out ceremony of 300 beneficiaries from Midramo Consulting Limited, one of the training partners of Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) and United States African Development Foundation (USADF) on the programme.
The beneficiaries were equipped with skills in Computer Studies, Catering, Hotel Management, Electrical Engineering and Refrigerator/Air Conditioning Engineering over a six-month period comprising three months intensive certification programme and three months internship programme with the firm’s partners.
Almona, who was the keynote speaker at the event, noted that over the last seven years, the LSETF in partnership with USADF has successfully trained thousands of youths, saying the government’s developmental role in human capital and bridging the skills gap in the country as a whole was commendable.
Almona, who was represented by the Director, International and Public Sector Relations, Mrs. Temitope Akindunde, said: “I would like to commend the vision of the Lagos State Government with the establishment of LSETF and the prioritising of the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), inspiring the creative and innovative energies of Lagos residents and reducing unemployment, improving access to finance and creating enabling environment for sustainable growth of the sector.
“Since inception of LSETF, the Fund has created over 124,500 direct and indirect jobs and 55,170 new taxpayers have been added to the Lagos State tax database. In 2021, the Fund also distributed N12 million to 19 beneficiaries affected by #EndSARS, workspace vouchers issued to 105 beneficiaries, 50 persons trained in partnership with Ustacky, 22 beneficiaries mentored in the Idea Hub programme.
Also, 2,722 applicants were trained and certified and 2,156 beneficiaries placed in jobs or self-employed. All of these are laudable achievements but we need to do more in order to address em“I, therefore, urge the government to deepen their collaboration with employers and institutions of higher learning to further develop effective mechanism that will address the issue of employability. Also, I wish to encourage our youths to remain focused and committed to these developmental programmes and ensure it reflects in their productivity at work.”
Also speaking, a director at Midramo, Rasheed Odewunmi, said the programme was initiated to reduce unemployment in Lagos by providing adequate and relevant training and job placement for young people.
He commended the LSETF and USADF for sponsoring the training, saying: “The main goal of this project is to provide adequate and relevant training and job placement for 150 young people (per batch) living in Lagos State. This will combat unemployment through youth entrepreneurship and skills acquisition in technology.
“Our programme is not only anchored on the technical aspect and technical skills, we also touch a lot on soft skills and we had a lot of support from some other international donor agencies that give us some technical support to ensure that our programme is very rich.”
Guest lecturer at the event, Prof. Jayeoba Ilesanmi of the Department of Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management, Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, also commended the programme, urging other stakeholders to come up with initiatives that will curb youth unemployment in the country.
Ilesanmi, who spoke on the topic, ‘Nigeria and the Employability Challenge’, said: “One of the major challenges that the youths are facing today is unemployment and there are many causes. We have lamented the causes of unemployment but we are at the point where we should be doing something about this cancerous growth that is weighing the youth down.
“And Lagos State through Midramo and their other partners has moved to stem the tide through this type of programme. To my surprise, 300 people benefited at a go. Now, that is topical and instructive. So, other stakeholders can also look at how to help these endangered youths to be able to come off and contribute to the economy.
“Our problem is not that we have too many people in Nigeria. In fact, it is an advantage. The real problem is not knowing what to do with the people that we have. And if you give them a job, you unleash their capacity. That way, they are able to contribute meaningfully to the economy and to the world at large, because today, through technology, everyone everywhere can contribute to local and global environment. So, I’m excited that this type of programme was organised and I must say that I am fortunate to be part of the programme.”