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2021 Budget: Group Welcomes Sanwo-Olu’s Massive Plan For Youth Empowerment

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A group, Lagos of Our Dreams (Project LOUD) on Thursday commended Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu for the massive plans to create jobs and empower the youths as contained in the Year2021 Appropriation Bill presented to the House of Assembly on Tuesday.

In a statement by Convener of the group, Prince Kehinde Bolaji Bakare, Project LOUD said the brilliant initiative of the Governor to prioritize the welfare of young people was not only commendable but aptly confirms that the Governor “means what he says and says what he means.”

Bakare said it was on record that Governor Sanwo-Olu had, on various occasions, reiterated his commitment to play up issues concerning youth empowerment, and that it was not surprising that the Governor is “walking the talk.”

“Mr Governor has done well and should be commended for coming up with various initiatives to ensure that the youths are well taken care of in the Year2021 budget.

“On several occasions, the Governor has said he remains committed to the welfare of youth and so this is not surprising,” Bakare said.

He said Project LOUD was more than before prepared to support the agenda of Mr Governor for the youth, adding: “The Governor is really working towards the Lagos of our dreams and we urge all Lagosians to key into his commendable agenda for greater Lagos.”

While presenting the budget, the Governor said huge sums have been earmarked for the youth, especially in terms of leveraging developmental efforts by focusing on sectors with job creating potential like Agriculture, Construction, Technology and Security.

“We are set to improve the economic conditions and social safety needed for our youth and all hardworking Lagosians to flourish. We are committing resources to sectors that need to grow for our people to become self-reliant and economically empowered.

“Consequently, for the agricultural sector, our food security plan has a cumulative budget of N22.21billion, while we are committing a cumulative budgetary provision of N311.43billion to infrastructure: this will cover direct intervention through the Ministries of Works and Infrastructure, Water front, Transportation, the Judiciary, our Schools and Seed Capital of N15billion for The Rebuild Lagos Trust Fund.

“This does not include the value to be created from executing the rail lines (both Red and Blue) recently approved by the Lagos State House of Assembly. To continue to drive our digitisation strategy, we have committed a total of N37.37billion investment in 30 technology, while in the environment and health services, we have committed a total of N48.28billion and N111.94billion respectively,” he said.

On light up Lagos plans, the Governor said N32.58billion has been earmarked to executive various initiatives for the energy sector, while post-endsars protest, a pivotal crux of the 2021 budget will be the promotion of an entrepreneurial culture, with special focus on micro, small and medium enterprises to facilitate socioeconomic advancement.

In order to consolidate gains in the technology sector for accelerated economic growth and job creation, the Governor said the government will collaborate with major players including Oracle, Microsoft and Google to prepare youths for the IT job market.

“As we focus on job and wealth creation, we will also prioritize the security of lives and property as well as local intelligence gathering in our communities by increasing significantly the number of our Neighbourhood Watch Officers over the next two years.

“All these will be achieved through our human development MDAs comprising the Ministries of Education, Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Wealth Creation, (including LSETF) and SDGI. Consequently, the cumulative budgetary provision towards Human capital development effort from these MDAs total’s N148.57billion,” he said.

On other youth engagement and social works plans, Governor Sanwo-Olu said: “The possibilities for economic and social growth abound in our state. However, we must be emphatic about engaging our youth. As a father, politician, and governor, I am saddened by the increasing rise of substance abuse among our youth, particularly the boys. Our developmental vision would be incomplete without a vibrant, capable, and healthy youth population to take the baton of leadership when we leave the scene.

“This Government has, therefore, made it its prerogative to increase its financial commitment to youth mentoring, mental health support, and substance abuse rehabilitation. Very soon, we will unveil our comprehensive action plan to address this issue. The initiative is being driven by the Neighbourhood Watch, The Ministry of Youth and Social Development and the Office of Civic Engagement.

“Our approach will entail a robust communication strategy that will highlight government’s projects and initiatives in a format that is easy to digest by our youths: our intention is cultivate their trust and get them to embrace participatory governance. We must do all we can to deter them from cybercrime and other vices. Consequently, there is a proposed allocation of N9.16billion in the 2021 Budget.”

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