Yiaga organizes policy dialogue for youth engagement in Lagos
Improving awareness and access to vocational and employment opportunities in Lagos State prompted a policy dialogue between Yiaga Africa and various Lagos State ministries/establishments.
The ministries include Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Establishments, Training and Pensions, among others.
Speaking at the occasion which took place at Pearlwort Hotel and Suites, Alausa, Ikeja, Programme Manager, Yiaga Africa, Ibrahim Faruk, said the programme was part of Yiaga’s project aimed at strengthening the public service delivery, a step that was not limited to Lagos State alone but cut across a number of states within the six geo-political zones.
“We are bringing together young people and youth organisations from the six geo-political zones, including Lagos State, to speak with public institutions and public enterprises, especially on what has to do with young people with the aim of looking into their processes and ensure they are more responsive as well as be more gender-responsive.
“Earlier in the year, we brought together youth organisations to identify some of these specific areas that have been affected and we are here in Lagos today to talk around awareness and opportunities for vocational, employment opportunities,” he said.
Faruk also hinged the reason behind engaging young people on the fact that every public institution is entitled to some financial allocation that comes with the budget, while the youth are not aware of these various opportunities at their disposal and how to possibly access them.
He added that the group would also want to see how these ministries and agencies are consulting more in a way that their programmes and policies truly reflect the need of young people and the gender population.
He commended the Lagos State government for making some of these budgets known with the belief that the latter would not relent in exploring other ways that would ensure transparency and accountability, which would bring back relationships of trust among the government’s institutions to the young people.
He identified other states that the group is working on to include Bornu State, Kaduna State, Enugu State and Akwa Ibom State.
He advised the government to reflect the interest and aspirations of the youth population that makes a large number in the country in everything it is doing.
He also advised the youth to take advantage of the opportunities available to them in the various ministries and agencies assuring them that the group would continue with its legislative dialogue in the various states it is working with a view to ensuring implementation of policies that affect the youth in those ministries while the group would also in collaboration with Action Aid continue to empower young people to get their daily bread.
Director, Programmes and Coordination, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Omolara Adewumi, said aside partnering with banks to procure various loans, there are also various opportunities available for youth if only they can change their mentality from looking for white colar jobs that are not available.
“We train people from age of 15 to 45 to be carpenters, shoemakers among others because we realise that youth employment is a national issue and not just at the state level as statistics during governor Fashola’s government has shown that about 60 people enter Lagos every hour.
“We also partner with organisations to train the youth,” she said.
Olusina Sobande who represented the Commissioner for Agriculture said as much as the ministry was ready to welcome youth engagement, the focus remains on those youth who are desirous of becoming entrepreneurs while the Commissioner would always help the youth who presents their proposals.
He assured of the readiness of the Commissioner to welcome anyone who approaches her and to treat every letter directed to her office.
Representatives of the Ministry of Science and Technology also advised the youth to take advantage of every opportunity the ministry offers.