A nongovernmental organization, Connected Development, CODE, has encouraged the Lagos state government to commit more resources into educating youths in order to halt poverty across Nigeria.
CODE, which runs with the objectives of increasing youth inclusiveness in governance as well as holding government accountable, recently presented a robust budget fact-sheet to Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, the Special Adviser to Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on how the state can maximize key projects to engage youths economically.
In the courtesy visit to the governor’s aide, Mike Azu-Monye, the organization’s Program’s Manager stressed on their aim to provide accurate data to the government so that projects like CODELagos – to teach young people on digital skills – and Ready-set Work (RSW) initiative for final year students would become more efficient.
‘Our aim is basically to ensure youth inclusiveness in governance.
‘We are seeking to know if indeed the current educational projects and youth empowerment schemes in Lagos truly resonate with the needs and realities of the people and also to support the government with our data resources until poverty alleviation is largely actualized’, Azu-Monye stated.
With the poverty rate in Lagos at 74.3% as of 2011 and Nigeria’s unemployment rate pegged at 23.1% for Q3 of 2018 according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, CODE suggested an expansion of RSW to accommodate more beneficiaries.
As Nigeria also remains one of the top five worst countries on sanitation, CODE further appealed to Lagos state – which accounts for not less than nine million of the country’s total population – to urgently provide WASH facilities like pipe-borne water and modern-day toilets across primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.
Responding to the concerns, Mr. Wahab restated the government’s commitment to invest more in education and youths from 2020.
He mentioned that ‘the government’s vision is clear. We have now reviewed the next year’s budget upward by 63% for education and over 40% health; which are top priorities for human capital. In fact, from 2020, we intend to increase the target for our RSW to 10,000 beneficiaries. So, you can have my assurance on these key issues stated.’
‘Our efforts on education may not appear visible now like infrastructural projects of blue and red rail projects, for example. Why? Because they are long-term.
‘However, we won’t scrap the good initiatives in operations. CODE LAGOS in secondary schools will be integrated to increase the chances of our secondary school graduates to get jobs even with their acquired skills at that level in the tech hubs too’, he assured.