Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has advised youths and women in the State to engage themselves in vocational skills to be employers of labour rather than depending solely on government and private organisations for job opportunities.
Speaking at the Year 2019 Graduation Ceremony for 6,252 students of the 18 Skill Acquisition Centers in Lagos State, held at the Isheri Skill Acquisition Hall, Governor Sanwo-Olu advised the graduating students to use the skills they have acquired in the last few months to create platforms for themselves to be employers of labour.
The Governor also urged them to be persistent, persevere, focused and not to give up on their dreams, adding that they should take advantage of the free online business registration channel provided by the Federal Government for the first 250,000 small and medium scale enterprises.
He said they should use technology, especially their data to add value to their lives and not for things that would not contribute positively to their growth and development in life.
The Governor who disclosed that government cannot provide jobs for everybody based on the population of people in the state, said that what government is meant to do is to create an enabling environment for people to be employers of labour and become entrepreneurs who would create businesses and opportunities for themselves, families and others.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, who disclosed that he was a plumber about 30 years ago, said the graduating trainees are on the right path and therefore encouraged them to be determined, persevered and committed to achieve desired success in their respective skills for them to be successful CEOs in the future.
The 6,252 graduands were trained in fifteen different skills such as; Hairdressing and Cosmetology, Catering and Hotel Management, Computer training, Barbing, Textile Design, Hat Making and Bead Stringing, Shoe Making/Leather Works, Fashion Design and Dress Making.
Others are Welding Fabrication, Vulcanising/Wheel Balancing and Alignment, Refrigerator and AC Maintenance/Repairs, Aluminum Fabrication, Screen/Transfer Printing Technology, Tile Laying/Pave Lock Making, and Carpentry and Future Making.
Governor Sanwo-Olu urged the 6,252 graduating students to do all they can to make learning a life-long venture, by constantly seeking ways to improve their skills and grow their businesses.
He assured them of government’s support for them to achieve success in their various vocations, noting that the State Government has resources to help them accelerate their growth. He the newly inaugurated Eko MSMEs Fashion Hub and the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund can provide opportunities for the students to tap into.
The Governor therefore implored the graduating students, especially those in fashion design line to take the opportunity of the Fashion hub in Ikeja, to enhance their works, adding that his administration was committed to build and open more fashion hubs at Obalende, Somolu and Oshodi within the next six months as parts of the administration support for MSMEs in the State.
Speaking at the event, First Lady of Lagos State, Dr. (Mrs) Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, expressed the incumbent administration’s commitment to empowerment and skill acquisitions for Lagosians, especially those who are interested in vocational trainings.
Dr. Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the wife of the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Oluremi Hamat, advised the graduating students to be prayerful, hard working and distinguish themselves in their respective businesses by packaging their products and be the best in their vocation and use the training to better their lives in order to be successful.
She also charged them to add value to others by being employers of labour to reduce unemployment in the State and take Lagos to a ‘Greater Height’ in line with the THEMES agenda of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration.
In her address, Lagos State Commissioner of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), Mrs. Cecilia Bolaji Dada commended Governor Sanwo-Olu for the unflinching support given to the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation and to youths and women in general, as well as making the Skill Acquisition Centres tuition free, noting that the platform would make the students self employed and employers of labour.
Mrs. Dada also appreciated Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu for the support WAPA has enjoyed from her office and her continuous support to the ministry and promoting the cause of women in Lagos State.
She said: “Women and Youths Empowerment has been a front burner issue for this present leadership of the Lagos State Government having identified that the challenges posed by poverty among women and youths can only be resolved through projects, programme and skills acquisition.
“It is therefore in recognition of the foregoing and to further reiterate its commitment to its mandate and promises to the citizenry, that the Lagos State Government, under the leadership of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu held nothing back in providing veritable platforms upon which multifarious vocation training programmes can be obtained on a tuition-free basis for woman and the indigents of the society.”
Mrs. Dada while congratulating the graduating students urged them to go into the world of business with great hope and full of courage.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Mojisola Alli-Macaulay expressed the commitment of the administration to not just job creation but also women empowerment though skills acquisition, adding that government is ever ready to meet the needs of women in the state.
She congratulated the graduating students and urged them to use the skills they have acquired to set up businesses and create job opportunities for themselves and others.
The highpoint of the event was presentation of gifts by Governor Sanwo-Olu, Mrs. Hamzat and others to graduands who distinguished themselves during the skill acquisition training organised by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.
Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVED) certificates were also presented to the graduating students. It will grant them a seamless transition into any of the Lagos State Technical Colleges of their choice for further training.