Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo Olu, has said that the ongoing Jobs Initiatives Lagos (JIL) and Entrepreneurship Skills Development Programme designed for final year students and those in penultimate classes in all higher institutions of learning was targeted at reducing graduate unemployment and grow young entrepreneurs to address some of the challenges facing the nation’s economy.
The Governor stated this on Tuesday at Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED), Naforija, Epe, where the State Government, in partnership with its consultant on Jobs Initiative Lagos, LOFTYINC Allied and Partners, had gone to launch the scheme for the final year students of the College.
Represented by his Special Adviser on Education, Barrister Tokunbo Wahab, Sanwo-Olu disclosed that two additional vocational training centres have been constructed in Badagry and Epe Divisions of the State to increase the existing number to nine, adding that the centres would commence operations from August 2021 to give youths the opportunity to become entrepreneurs and employers of labour.
The Governor charged the students to maximise the benefits of the Jobs Initiative Lagos (JIL) and other entrepreneurship skills development programmes to become globally competitive for the available jobs or as entrepreneurs.
Sanwo-Olu explained that beneficiaries could access soft loans, through the Lagos State Employment Trust Funds (LSETF), to start up their businesses, urging them to work towards becoming employers of labour rather than waiting for white-collar jobs.
The Provost of the College, Associate Professor Olajide Onibon, while commending the State Government for its youth development programmes, noted that JIL will expose students to life after school and increase their employability as well as entrepreneurial skills.
Onibon, who was represented at the event by the Chief Librarian of the College, Dr. Abayomi Imam, also remarked that the various skills development programmes are capable of reducing unemployment in the country, as the emergence of young entrepreneurs will stabilise the economy and reduce poverty.
Speaking on behalf of other students, the Secretary of the Student’s Union, Obafemi Oluwatobi, commended the State Government and LOFTYINC Consultants for the initiatives.
He added that exposing students to employability skills development programmes is a life-changing opportunity that they would not forget in a hurry.