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The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Saturday stated that the present administration would continually invest massively in the economy for the engagement and enablement of the youth across the state.

The Governor made this known through the Secretary to the State Government, Tunji Bello, at the 2018 Lagos Mega Youth Conference, themed: “Safe spaces for youth,” held at LTV Blueroof Hall, Agidingbi.

Ambode reiterated that the present administration would continually engage and support the youths in order to prepare them for future challenges and see how their aspirations can be achieved.

He explained that the State Government’s policy thrust on Security, Infrastructure and Job Opportunities was designed with the youths in mind.

He said the Government’s first focus on assumption of office was to make Lagos safe, not just for the youth but for every resident, adding that some appreciable progress have been made in that wise.

According to him: “From inception, our administration determined that one of our key considerations would be inclusion; an inclusive government which will protect all interests, provide for all sections of society and protect all.

“I am delighted to note that the theme for this year’s United Nations International Youth Day is: “Safe Places For Youth.”

“This, for me, is a strong validation and justification of the policy position of our government.”

Ambode explained that Nigeria has a bulging youth population with 65 per cent of the total population between the ages of 16 and 35, adding that this itself is a strength as well as a challenge.

He said the strength is that there are people with the energy to work in order to develop the economy, while the challenge is that the Government needs to engage the critical population positively, adding: “Youth is life. Youth is energy; youth is ideas, youth is creativity, and any society that does not cater for the needs of its youth is toying with the future.”

Ambode said the State had trained 2,200 unemployed Lagosians for jobs in construction, manufacturing, garment making, hospitality and entertainment, adding that 450 trainees have been employed by various businesses across the State.

“Through the Employment Trust Fund and our Ministry of Wealth Creation, we have developed and launched a workspace loan programme, through which 50 startups have been awarded vouchers which allow them discounted access to selected workspaces and hubs in Lagos. We have no doubt that these startups, being run by some our smartest young Lagosians, will deliver incredible solutions that will make life easier for Lagos residents.”

Ambode said the Government has invested massively in transportation to create inclusion for communities without accessible roads stressing that the new Bus Terminals and new buses would provide free WiFi to keep the youths connected on the go when operation commences.

He stated further that the Government had also invested in spaces for recreation, building of new parks and renovating of the old ones, adding that there is free WiFi at the JJT Park and the Muri Okunola Park presently, while it would be extended to others soon.

He said: “We have some young and very smart Lagosians holding sensitive positions in our government. Our Employment Trust Fund, the State Waterways Authority, Parks and Gardens and Bus Services Limited are run by some bright, young people and they have proven to us that our young people are ready to take charge.”

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