– Appeal For Revival of Moribund Vocational Centre
-Our programmes have been youths inclined – Hons. Benson, Agunbiade
Ikorodu youths, under the auspices of the Coalition of the Ikorodu West Youths in Ikorodu West Local Council Development Area (LCDA), have demanded that youths should take charge of the Ministry of the Youths Affairs in the state cabinet when the new government takes over.
They also requested for a separate department for the youths in local governments and local council development areas across the state.
They made these demands to the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), through Hon. Banajimi Benson, member, Federal House of Representatives and Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, the Majority Leader, Lagos State House of Assembly representing the Ikorodu Constituency I, during a political interactive session organized by the youths under the auspices of the Coalition of the Ikorodu West Youths.
Hon. Benson was represented at the session by one of his legislative aides, Mr Mojeed Sanni.
The highly engaging and well-attended event, which was themed, ‘Youth Hang-out’, was held at the Ikorodu West LCDA Secretariat hall, on Monday, January 14, 2019.
Comrade Muyideen Yusuf Olatunji, Chairman, NYCN Ikorodu West LCDA and Coordinator of the Youths Coalition, speaking at the event, said :
“The youths of Ikorodu West Council are asking our representatives to ensure that we are giving more recognition. What is due to the youths must be for us. We want a separate department for the youths.
“The present arrangement where youth affairs department is merged with Agriculture department is not serving our interest. There should be a separate department for us and we want you as our representatives to use your good offices to ensure that this happen.
“This, if achieved, will ensure effectiveness and will also allow the youths to be more responsive to their responsibilities in the community.
“The youths are ready to ensure that you are given maximum supports to be re-elected having appeared before us to tell us what you have been able to achieve with the previous mandate given to you and also telling us your agenda if re-elected, but while we are ready to support you, must impress it on your party that we are clamouring for consideration for youths to occupy the positions of a commissioner, special adviser and senior special assistant in charge of youth affairs.
“A situation whereby older people are saddled with the responsibility of overseeing our affairs is unfair and discouraging.
He also asked the elected representatives to accord the body more recognition in their programmes and allocation of resources.
“Sincerely, the youths in Ikorodu West have not been given due consideration in most of your programmes and we want this to be corrected.
“For instance, we should be given allocation in programme like Apo-Anu by Hon. Benson because we also have vulnerable individuals that are in need”.
He also made passionate appeal to the council chairman and elected representatives in Ikorodu to see to the revival of the only vocational centre in the area which he said is now moribund.
“We have been appealing for the revival of the only vocational centre in Ikorodu West LCDA to no avail. On behalf of the entire youths in our council, I want to once again appeal to our chairman and elected representatives to assist in bringing back to life this centre that is capable of engaging our youths meaningfully.
The moribund vocational centre, which is located along T.O.S Avenue, directly opposite Mobil Petrol Station, has five departments – Catering, Tie and dye, fashion design, hair dressing and barbing.
Hon. Agunbiade, speaking on his youth engagement strides, stated that most of his programmes have impacted on youths in Ikorodu constituency which include Ikorodu West LCDA.
“We have numerous empowerment, educational, business, sporting and other programmes that are basically for the youtht in my constituency and Ikorodu West is always factored into our arrangement.
“For instance, our Best Brain Contest, which targets students in Primary, Junior Secondary 1 and and Senior Secondary I and 2 schools, is designed for the youths and we have had good reports from the beneficiaries, including this one (Master Ganiu Babatunde Oloruntade, a beneficiary in JSS class and a member of the youths coalition ).
“There is also an annual Oba Shotobi Independence Day Marathon through which we have been able to detect and sponsor some of our youths to state and national competitions. The winner of last year’s edition emerged 10th in the Lagos City marathon.
“Ikorodu today is the highest beneficiary of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund. This was confirmed recently by those in-charge of the fund. As your representative, we have used your mandate in securing loans for our people, many of whom are youths. One of the coordinators of the programme, Hon. Azeez Olosugbo, also secured the position through our intervention.
“In the last three years, we have also secured employment into the state service for more than 50 youths in my constituency.
Speaking on the demands of the youths for more recognition by the government, Hon. Agunbiade enjoined them to continue to agitate for their rights.
“While I was like you, I achieved many things through continuous engagements and agitations. You don’t have to fight but learn to constructively and scientifically engage your leaders. It’s possible that they are not looking at the angle that you are coming from but when you engage them, they might see the need to reason with you.
While stating that appointment as a commissioner or into any state’s position is at the discretion of the Governor, he also enjoined the youths not to relent in supporting the party and voting for its candidate because according to him, “it’s only when you ensure that the party wins in the coming elections that demands and agitations will have attention”.
Hon. Benson, while speaking through his representative, stated that his representation has been able to impacted positively on the youths in his constituency through Startup Ikorodu, iCare job portal and education intervention initiatives.
“Startup is major programme that is targeting the youths in the six local councils within the federal constituency. We have been able to train 120 youths in Ikorodu through this programme and facilitated soft loan for them through Lagos State Employment Trust Fund. We are also engaging them on monthly seminar on Business Processes and Scalability.
“Another area we have been able to reach many youths in Ikorodu federal constituency, Ikorodu West inclusive, is in the area of iCare job portal.
“Through this, we have been able to create a platform where job seekers meet with employers of labour for employment opportunities. The portal currently boasts of over 2,000 youths seeking for jobs.
“Youths looking for jobs are enjoined to drop their CVs on this portal, whenever an opportunity comes up, we usually go to it and see those with the required qualifications”, Mr Sanni stated.
“Through our educational intervention, we have been able to renovate many schools through our programme tagged, “Back to school project”, including schools in Ikorodu West. We have also facilitated construction of many structures across the federal constituency. Seven schools have benefitted so far.
“The construction of Information Communication Technology (ICT) centre was facilitated to Local Government Education Authority in Ikorodu.
“Your representative also significantly impacted on the youths with his constituency upliftment programme. Through this programme, many youths across the constituency were provided with business empowerment like tricycles, vulcanizing machines, sewing machines, etc”.
On the inclusion of NYCN in the iCare food programme as demanded by the youths, Mr Mojeed stated that he would take their request back to his principal whom he said would be positively disposed to it.
Also speaking at the event, Hon. Jimoh Azeez Olosugbo, former Council Leader, Ikorodu Local Government, challenged the youths to be more engaging and proactive.
“As youths, we have failed to tap our potentials and power to make things happen. It’s high time we start to be proactive and scientifically approach issues that are germane to us.
“The last time I addressed the youths in this council, we proffered ways through which we can revive the moribund vocational centre, but unfortunately, we are here again after many years still lamenting”.
Olosugbo, who stated that he reviewed all the laws in Ikorodu Local Government and enacted new ones during his tenure as leader of the house, challenged the youths to be involved in legislative activities.
“How many times have you witnessed your councilors in session? You have to constantly engage them and the chairman if you are to be taken seriously. As a group, you can generate bills for your federal and assembly representatives and also your councilors” , he stated.
Also contributing. Kunle Adelabu, Publisher of the THE IMPACT and the moderator of the political interactive session, challenged the leadership of National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) in Ikorodu West to take advantage of the ongoing budget preparation in rehabilitating the vocational centre.
“If you are truly serious about the revival of the vocational centre, the leadership of the NYCN in this council should constitute a high powered delegation to visit the councilors and the chairman of the council this week and make presentation that the rehabilitation of the vocational centre must be included in the 2019 budget.
“Expecting your federal and assembly representatives to do everything might not work. This particular project is the responsibility of your council, hence you should be able to take the advantage of the ongoing budget preparation to make your councilors and chairman provide for it.