The Lagos State Government is committed to its strategic partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in order to curb the rising spate of social vices among youths in the State.
The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mr. Olumide Sogunle stated this while hosting a delegation from USAID on a courtesy visit to the Ministry.
Sogunle, while commending USAID for giving hope to the less privileged youth in society and encouraging them to go for their goals irrespective of their educational and social economic handicaps, urged the leadership of the agency to spread their tentacles and partner with other critical stakeholders in both the public and private sector.
The Permanent Secretary said “We want to commend you for the work you are doing. We are well aware that you target both female and male adolescents between the ages of 15 to 19 and that USAID is at the moment in the two most populous states in Nigeria which is Lagos and Kano. We thus look forward to the benefits and dividends that this strategic partnership will bring”.
The Team Leader and Chief of Party on the USAID-funded Youth-Powered Ecosystem to Advance Urban Adolescent Health implemented by DAI Global, Mrs. Boladale Akin-Kolapo disclosed that in four years, youth aged 10-29 will make up a third of Nigeria’s population, and thus there is a need for concerted efforts to improve the health and well-being of unmarried, out-of-school and urban adolescents in Lagos and Kano State.
Boladale Akin-Kolapo, also stated that the organisation currently operates four “Teensmata Youth Hubs” at Ikorodu, Lafiaji, Gbagada and Mushin areas of Lagos State. According to her, these are safe spaces for adolescents to receive information and support from trained Counsellors and Youth Coaches dedicated to providing confidential and free sexual health care and counselling services.
The Executive Director, Yellow-Brick Road, Mr. Olumide Kaliko noted that there is a lot USAID is doing and there is a need for partnership with the Ministry of Information and Strategy on the media side to create more awareness and visibility.
Kaliko said, “We also look forward to continued airing and broadcasting of Youth Powered Ecosystem for Adolescent Health (YPE4AH), messages, and activities across the State’s media platforms.”
In a similar vein, the Director, of Public Affairs, Lagos State Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mr. Adesegun Ogundeji suggested that USAID should be more proactive and do more advocacies that will prevent the youths from becoming victims that need support from the agency.
Mr. Kayode Oyekanmi, Director of the Strategy Centre of the Ministry, advised the Organisation to make inroads into both public and private secondary schools by partnering with the Lagos State Ministry of Education.
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