By Chinyere Anyanwu
THE Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youths and Social Development, Lagos State, Mr. Hakeem Muri- Okunola, has called on Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to collaborate with government on youth empowerment and poverty alleviation.
Making the call during the graduation ceremony of youths who participated in the skills acquisition programme of Community Advancement and Youth Empowerment Network (CAYEN), in Lagos, Muri-Okunola, who was represented by Mr. Lanre Rufai, said NGOs should be encouraged to get involved in youth empowerment programmes because government alone cannot cater for the over 60 per cent of youth population.
He stated: “At the Ministry of Youths and Social Development, we provide opportunities for the youths by enhancing their skills and abilities so that they can achieve what they intend to achieve in life.
However, if you look at the population of youths of this country, whatever we are doing at our end is just a tip of the iceberg; a drop in the ocean. Therefore, we encourage collaboration. We encourage NGOs to also get involved in organising programmes like this.”
Advising the participants, he urged them to put the knowledge they have acquired from the 10-day programme to fruitful use, stating that allowing such knowledge to waste would amount to wasting opportunities of having multiple streams of income and bettering their lives.
He further said, “what you are exposed to is an opportunity the older generation did not have. You have been empowered and you need to go farther than that. You have been given some tips that will help you in life. It is left for you to ensure that you get committed to whatever you are doing in life. That is the secret of success.”
Commending the organisers, Muri-Okunola urged them to replicate the programme in other communities of the state to enable youths in those areas benefit.
Speaking at the event, the Founder and Project Leader of CAYEN, Mrs. Aderonke Akinola-Akinwole, hinted that the NGO is focused on “advancing the communities within Nigeria by engaging, educating and empowering members of the community, particularly the young people, for relevance and usefulness.”
Source : SunOnline