Nigeria @ 52: Fashola Advocates Re-Ordering of Nation’s Economy, Harnessing Human Resource
Re-commits himself to deepening opportunities for young people to prosper
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Monday took the ceremonial Independence salute to mark the nation’s 52nd anniversary in the State with a call for the re-ordering of the nation’s economy with a view to harnessing the values of its human resource, especially the young people.
Governor Fashola, who spoke at the Police College, Ikeja, venue of the colourful parade and march past by law enforcement agencies, schools, voluntary uniform and civil society organisations to mark the Independence Anniversary, also re-committed himself to the ideals of deepening opportunities for young people through the various policies and programmes
of his administration.
Recalling his speech at the 50th Independence Anniversary where he expressed his concern about the problem of unemployment faced by young people, Governor Fashola said through the various programmes undertaken by the State Government since then, it has become clear that young people are ready to adapt to new realities.
“Not only did I make a commitment to do something about it, no matter how little, I announced that the State Government had undertaken a strategic alliance to create an employability and enterprise window to retrain graduates and help them get jobs in addition to exposing them to
entrepreneurship opportunities”, the Governor said adding, “What is very instructive about the modest achievements recorded is not about the number but about the enthusiasm of the young people to adapt in order to prosper”.
He said although young people have been endlessly told that they are the future of the country, those who are charged with the responsibility to lead must realize that the future is already here.
Giving a report card of the State Government’s achievements in the area of actualizing his commitment, Governor Fashola said,”The first batch of beneficiaries was 507 graduates who we have converted to teachers who are now gainfully employed in our schools after being re-trained. Currently, we are in the process of recruiting another batch of almost 1,000.” The impact of this conversion programme, the Governor said, has been a steady improvement in school grades in external examinations like WAEC and NECO.
“The other beneficiaries are 300 successful applicants out of over 1,000 who have been converted to health volunteers and who are currently employed in our Primary Health Centres. They are now part of our health brigade of young people helping to rebuild their country’s primary health and ensure that we reduce infant mortality and prevent disease”.
According to Governor Fashola, the third group is made up of about 700 graduates who have opted to participate in the State Government’s training of apprenticeship which will prepare them for employment with companies that need their skills adding, “Not left out is a growing army of young farmers under the Agric YES Youth Employment Scheme and the Rice for Job
“It is a strong sign for any nation to build upon and set a clear path for re-ordering the economy and harnessing the value of its most important resource, its people”, the Governor said adding that nothing has encouraged him more to continue on this path than the testimony of one of the young beneficiaries of the After School Graduate Development Centre at the annual
stakeholders’ review meeting which took place over the weekend.
“I cannot quote him verbatim, but, I will paraphrase what he said, which is that he had always complained that his country never did anything for him except to ask him to sacrifice but that with the opportunity the programme has given him to get a job, he can no longer say that”, the Governor said.
Describing the testimony as “very profound and humbling” for him, Governor Fashola declared, “It brings a new meaning to Independence Day celebrations for me and tells me to do more over the next 12 months to help change the impression of young people about their country”
The Governor said irrespective of the misgivings of Nigerians as a people or how legitimate the complaints might be, Nigerians must continue to acknowledge the significance of the Independence Day and the tremendous energy and freedom that was unleashed when they finally lowered the Union Jack.
“Talk to those who witnessed that day and see their eyes sparkle as the smiles light up their faces at the memory of what happened that day at the Race Course Lagos, in 1960. Our challenge is to live up to the promise of that day; our duty is to keep the flame of patriotism burning”, the
Governor Fashola noted in the last two years since the country celebrated its golden jubilee as a nation, things seem to have become a little more difficult for citizens of Nigeria adding, however, that it is those difficulties that propel him to continue to work with members of his team to deliver on the promise of the country’s possibilities.
He urged all residents of the State to continue to live peacefully with tolerance and also obey the provisions of the State Traffic law which, according to him “is aimed at saving lives.
The march past featured an inspection of the participants in the parade by the Governor who was driven in an open Landrover before a march past by the Nigeria Police Force, the Immigration Service, the Prison Service, the State Fire Service, the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), the Nigeria Civil Defence Corps, the Neighbourhood Watch, the Kick Against Indiscipline, the Boys Scout, the Boys Brigade, the Girls Guide, the Girls Brigade and school children including African Church Primary School, Ifako- Ijaiye, Sango Primary School, Agege, Kosofe Senior College, Kosofe and Holy Child College, Ikoyi among many others.
The event attracted many dignitaries including the Deputy Governor, Hon. (Mrs) Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, members of the State Executive Council including the Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture, Mr. Oyinlomo Danmole, the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu I, the Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Oba Oyefusi Oguntade, the Akran of Badagry and several other traditional rulers and personalities from all walks of life.
Do not hesitate to leave your opinion in the comment section below.
To contact Abusidiqu.com for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org