As part of efforts to highlight the significant gap between prospects of youths and government interventions, the Lagos State Office of Sustainable Development Goals and Investment (SDGs), Lagos Island Connect, has begun a Five-day survey on youth needs assessment in Lagos Island Local Government Area of the State
Speaking on the initiative, the Special Adviser to Governor on Sustainable Development Goals and Investment, Mrs Solape Hammond, who was ably represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Sustainable Development Goals, Mr Lekan Fatodu, stated that the collaborative programme is envisioned to address development concerns across Lagos as they relate to the youth population and engagement.
According to him, the project was purposely designed to identify emerging and pertinent issues affecting youth development, help the State government scale up development plans, and also activate their voice for social change, thereby making them relevant in the decision-making processes.
Here are some photos of the survey exercise
Fatodu acknowledged that in line with the policy thrust of the present administration, the survey report would be optimised to deliver more equitable space for youths to realise their ambitions.
“Essentially, youths should be more acknowledged as key contributors to the development and systemic change in every society. For us at the Office of Sustainable Development Goals and Investment, we are promoting a variety of developmental competencies that young people need at the individual, societal and global levels to become productive and responsible members of society”, he stated.
The Senior Special Assistant pointed out that the Office is increasingly using a youth-oriented approach to deliver sustainable development goals, hence, the report of the survey would further enhance government decisions on youth engagement and empowerment to equip them with the right skills for making better choices in their dealings.
The Convener of the initiative, Ms Yemisi Ransome-Kuti, who also doubles as the Chairman, Coalition for Issues-Based Politics & Good Governance (CIPOGG), Lagos Chapter, asserted that the home-grown project emerged from networks and dialogues with the government, through the Office of SDGs and Investment, disclosing that the exercise is designed to identify emerging and relevant gaps and making recommendations to the government about projects and programmes that will benefit young people within Lagos Island and its environs.
“Every responsible organisation must realise that the era of sitting back to criticise the government is long gone, we need to develop ideas that will support them in defining appropriate policies and programmes that will attend to the numerous social challenges. Luckily, the present administration in Lagos State has shown enough commitment to embrace innovative ideas in order to improve the social system”, she submitted.
Ransome-Kuti, who is a Research Associate, Centre for African Policy and Research, said the mission of Lagos Island Connect is focused on youth empowerment to identify, tap and optimally harness the potentials of Lagos Island youths to strike a balance between the individual quality of life and meaningful contribution to the community and the nation.
“The Lagos Island Connect (LIC) is set out to help the youth become aware of their personal potential, community responsibility and broader humanity, and the engagement in social justice activities that counter oppressive conditions”, she maintained.
Ransome-Kuti explained that the initiative is envisioned to be replicated in other local governments in Lagos State and hoped that the impact will, in some measure, lead to social, economic and environmental development as well as an attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals in Lagos.
On the modalities of the survey, she stated that enumerators who are largely members of the Lagos State Volunteer Corp (LSVC), have been trained on need assessment of the survey and the process of data capturing to ensure a hitch-free exercise.
“I have to applaud the dedication of the Office of the Sustainable Development Goals and Investment to this project. Particularly for facilitating the training of enumerators to update their skills before setting out for the assignment. Also, the Lagos State Bureau of Statistics needs to be commended for putting in a good shift in the whole training exercise”, she commented.
While appreciating Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for identifying with the initiative, Ms Ransome-Kuti expressed confidence that the survey would serve the projected purpose.