Maiden Ayayo Day Lecture: Imota Engages Youths On Development, Skills Acquisition

Kunle Adelabu

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HRM Oba Ajibade Bakare Agoro, the Ranodu of Imota (right), Prof. Adebayo Olu Adams (2nd left), Col. Titi Onafowokan, a community leader (middle), Prof. Ajibola Saheed, Director, NOUN Centre, Ikorodu (left) and other dignitaries at the maiden Imota Ayayo annual lecture held at the N.S. Hall, Imota.

Stakeholders in Imota Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Ikorodu Division area of Lagos State, Southwest, Nigeria, has resolved that there is need for infrastructural development and development of skills by the youths, for a sustainable development in Imota, Lagos State and the country as a whole.

These among other things were resolved at by the stakeholders at the maiden edition of the Public Lecture which was part of the 37th Imota Ayayo Day Anniversary, during which the community also announced to build an innovation centre to enhance the ICT and technological development of Imota youths.

The Principal of Oriwu College, Ikorodu, who recently emerged as the Best Public Secondary School Administrator in Nigeria, Mr Akeem Oladimeji Bello who is an indigene of lmota, was presented with an Excellence award for his feat, at the lecture themed, “Youth Empowerment for National Development: Exploring the Potentials in Imota LCDA and Beyond”, and held at the N.S. Sho Hotel & Suites, Imota, on Friday, November, 2023.

Prof. Adebayo Olu Adams, Chairman, MASM, Lagos FIMS (UK) and a Professor of Entrepreneurs Hub Development & Strategic Management of the Western Vile University, San Diego, California, USA, was the guest lecturer.

Alhaji Fatai O. Lasisi, former Special Adviser on Taxation to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, Dr Ogunyemi and Mrs Abiola Aberuagba, Deputy Director (Audit), Office of the Auditor – General for Local Government, Lagos State, were panel members that discussed the theme.

In his lecture, Prof. Adams said that unemployment, especially among teeming youth, is a major challenge confronting the global world.

“Youth employment remains one of the defining challenges of our time, not just in Nigeria, but across West Africa and beyond. Addressing youth employment means finding solutions with and for young people who are seeking a decent and productive job, are working but living in poverty or are discouraged by current labour market prospects”,

To address the unemployment challenges, the guest lecturer called for infrastructural development and skill acquisition for youths among others, as a way out of unemployment that the country is grappling with.

The representative of HRM Oba Olufolarin Ogunsanwo, the Alara of Ilara who was the royal father of the day delivering his Royal remarks at the lecture (standing). Hon. Nurudeen Saka Solaja, former representative, Ikorodu Constituency II (tight), Col. Titi Onafowokan, a community leader (2nd right) and other dignitaries at the lecture.

“There should be an industrial Hub Cluster for all the youths that are interested in transforming their lives through additional skill acquisition and further training.

“The Imperative of SME clusters and the Development of MSMEs clusters is very critical for the growth of small businesses. The idea is to promote the concentration of related industries in a particular geographical location”.

Prof. Adams said that the cluster strategy “strengthens localization of economies. Concentration of industries could result in significant cost savings”.

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“It increases productivity through specialized inputs, access to information, synergies, access to public goods, including infrastructure.

“It enhances the effectiveness of government intervention efforts to support small scale industries. There is better targeting of such government support. Such interventions could be from the federal, state or local governments.

“Strong clusters have the capacity to attract bigger domestic and foreign investors.

“It allows for more efficient division of labour and different firms have different competencies and because they are in close proximity, it facilitates and enhances a much more efficient production process.

“It facilitates the process of integration of MSMEs with large industries and promotes production efficiency as it enables firms to share risks, costs and access to market among others”.

The guest lecturer also emphasized the importance of technology in the development of MSMEs, stating that technological adoption brings about effectiveness and efficiency.

Hon. Wasiu Agoro, Chairman Imota LCDA presenting an Excellence Award to Mr Akeem Oladimeji Bello, the Best Public School Administrator in Nigeria

“We need to promote technology adoption among our entrepreneurs. Any business that is not embracing technology is at the risk of extinction. We cannot emphasize this point enough; we need to adopt technology in our production processes. We need to adopt technology in our business processes to make our processes a lot more efficient and cost effective”, he said.

During the panel session, Alhaji Fatai Lasisi called for all hands to be on desk for the reconstruction of the Ikorodu – Itoikin road which he said would encourage development when completed.

He also charged the youths to focus more on skills acquisition for them to become employers of labour, while also calling for the complete overhaul of the educational curriculum in primary, secondary and tertiary educational sectors by making it necessary for students to acquire skills.

In her own remarks, Dr Ogunyemi also called for skill acquisition in developing the youths, and charged Imota residents on the need to reconsider outright sale of lands, rather, called for lease of land to any interested individual and group, while Mrs. Abiola Aberuagba, a Deputy Director (Auditor), Office of the Auditor – General for the LG, charged youths to ignite the spirit by discovering their own potentials, pursue knowledge, invest in skill development, take initiative and empower themselves.

Chairman, Imota LCDA and Professors from the community celebrating with Mr Akeem Bello

Chairman, Imota LCDA, Hon. Wasiu Agoro, welcoming guests to the first Imota Ayayo Day lecture, commended the organisers for the initiative.

He said that reconstruction works would start soon on the deplorable Ikorodu – Itoikin road which connect Imota to other parts of lkorodu. He said that when the road is completed, couple with the efforts to tap into potentials that are abound in Imota, will encourage people to move into the community and invest.

“I want to thank the executives of the Imota Ayayo Day for organsing this lecturer. What you have done this year, the magic that you have been performing in the last four months, are so unprecedented”, Hon. Agoro said.

“The Kabiyesi put them together – seven of them, and those that attended the Imota parade yesterday will attest to what I am saying that Imota is no longer what it used to be. The 2023 Ayayo Day has changed totally, and it has changed forever.

“Despite the challenges that we had encountered, people stood firm and peace has returned to Imota. Our youths are now doing better things and they are the reason that we are gathered here today, because the lecture is about exploring the potentials in Imota and beyond.

Alhaji Fatai O. Lasisi (middie), Mrs Abiola Aberuagba, Deputy Director, Office of the Auditor – General for LG and Dr Ohunyemi at the lecture

“Imota is blessed. We are blessed with human and material resources. Forget the state of the road as it is today. The road has already been awarded and the contractor is only doing palliative. We cannot make it faster than what they are doing. By next year, we are going to be seeing the influx of people into Imota because potentials are abound here.

“That road (Ikorodu – Itokin road) is going to be four lanes and constructed with concrete. It is going to run from Sabo in Ikorodu to Itoikin. It is already included in the Supplementary budget that the President signed recently. They have made fund available for the road. The same thing for the Gberigbe road. I was there with the Special Adviser on Works. They are going to clear the waterlog and commence palliative.

“The essence of this lecture today is to see how we are going to explore all the potentials for the development of Imota and our youths, and the resource persons here today are going assist us with ways to fully tap into them for own benefits”, he said.

The council boss also said that the focus of the developmental plans are the youths whom the community is planning to build an innovation centre for, to further develop them.

“As mentioned earlier that in the next two years, there will be a CBT centre, that is why we are coming up with initiative like this to tap into the resources around us and develop an innovative centre for the youths purposefully to train them on how to use computer to do their examinations’, he said.

Cross section of students at the lecture

“This is an opportunity for us. It’s first of its kind and it will not be the last”.

Prof. Shakiru Okedeyi, Chairman, Imota Ayayo Planning Committee, speaking earlier, thanked the residents for their participation in the opening day event of the celebration.

He said that the community will be using the grand finale to raise funds for the proposed Imota Lab Hub, to drive information technology and development of youths in Imota.

“We will be launching our innovation lab hub which is basically on how we can develop our youths. This is a digital lab that can accommodate over 350 talents ready computers that we can use to train our youths. We should note that based on policy change, by the next two years, WAEC will be CBE examinations, that implies that all examinations will be computer based”, he said.

“Our little ones seated here that have never seen computers before, not to talk of using them for examinations purposes, we can all imaging what will happen. We, at the Imota Development Association, have studied and changed our policy to address this situation and in the next six months, we should have this project completed”, he assured.

At the lecture were HRM Oba Ajibade Bakare Agoro, the Ranodu of Imota, HRM Oba Olufolarin Olukayode Ogunsanwo, the Alara of Ilara Kingdom, Col. Titi Onafowokan, a community leader, Hon. Nurudeen Saka Solaja, former representative, Ikorodu Constituency II, Prof. Akinyemi Kabiru, and Prof. Ajibola Saheed, Director, NOUN Centre, Ikorodu, among others.

Prof. Shakiru Okedeyi, Chairman, Imota Ayayo Day Celebration discussing with scholars at the maiden lecture
Area view of the hall

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