Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu (middle); His wife, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu (3rd left); Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat (3rd right); His wife, Mrs. Oluremi Hamzat (2nd right) with young officers and representatives of various youth groups at the maiden edition of Lagos Inter-Youth Collaboration, organised by Office of Lagos State First Lady and held at LTV Blue Roof, Agidingbi, Ikeja, on Tuesday..
…As First Lady Hosts First Lagos Inter-Youth Collaboration…
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday, stated that the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) has so far supported over 40,000 startups with access to finance which, in turn, has created jobs and contributed positively to an enabling environment for businesses, especially budding entrepreneurs, to thrive.
Sanwo-Olu disclosed this at the maiden edition of the Lagos Inter-Youth Collaboration organised by the Office of the First Lady of Lagos State and held at LTV Blue Roof, Agidingbi, Ikeja, with the theme: “Youths and Moral Values in an Evolving Society: Challenges and Recommendations”.
He explained that the programme was designed to expose over 1,000 participants drawn from 100 youth groups from formal and informal sectors, as well as paramilitary institutions, to the various intervention programmes of the State government specifically targeted at youths.
His words: “The LSETF, if my calculation is not wrong, has intervened in over 40,000 start-ups. They have given some people soft loans; they have given some people grants directly; they have given other businesses development plans so that they can indeed develop their businesses fully”.
“They have been on for a couple of years and every year, they are doing lots and lots of great things. The programmes are available, irrespective of who you are, where you are from or who you know, as long as you are a resident of Lagos”, Sanwo-Olu added.
On activities of the Lagos State Science and Research Council, the Governor said in the last two years, grants worth millions of Naira have been given to various tech firms to support them to grow and build on their innovations.
According to him, “The Council, headed by the Vice-Chancellor of University of Lagos (UNILAG), reviews a lot of tech start-up businesses that we have. They approve the ones that are viable and support them with grants. In the last two years, they have given grants of N10 million, N20 million, N5 million, and N2 million to different categories of individuals”.
“Our youths need to take advantage of these programmes. They should find out how to partake and how they can be part of it when they see publications calling for entries. We have been doing it for the past two years and there is another one coming before the end of the year again”, Sanwo-Olu said.
He commended the Office of the First Lady for putting the programme together, saying it would go a long way to build conversations around various initiatives of the government for young people.
Earlier in her opening remarks, the First Lady, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, said the Inter-Youth Collaboration was aimed at sensitising the youths on the inculcation of moral values, which were gradually being eroded in today’s society, as well as how they can take advantage of intervention programmes of government for youths.
“Our objectives, among others, are to encourage youth participation in nation-building, create awareness on civic rights and responsibilities, provide access to opportunities profitable for youths, enlightenment of the youths about the activities of the State government and re-orientation”, she said.
Present at the event were representatives of MDAs including Ministries of Agriculture, Education, Finance, Wealth Creation and Employment, Youth and Social Development, Science and Technology, Health Management Agency, and Office of Sustainable Development Goals and Investment, to educate participants on programmes of government including bursaries and scholarship opportunities, low-interest loan packages of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund and innovation funds, among others.
The officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were equally on ground to enlighten participants on how to participate in the voting process, while various prizes including laptops, phones, cash rewards and other gift items were won through raffle draws personally supervised by Mr. Governor and the First Lady.
The high point of the programme was a special appearance by the Nigerian star actress and producer, Funke Akindele-Bello (Jenifer) as well as hip hop musicians Humblesmith and CDQ.