Mrs Abimbola Fashola, Wife of the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, and Immediate past Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has called for more investment in the youth.
Fashola made the call on Monday in Lagos on the sidelines of a programme tagged “Time out with the Youth’’ organised by the Leadership Empowerment And Resource Network (LEARN), which she founded.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Fashola founded LEARN as a pet project when her husband was Lagos State governor.
It is targeted at empowering youths with leadership skills and vocational training.
Fashola said that Nigerians should help youths in self discovery and capacity building as a strategy to secure the country’s future.
According to her, LEARN aims at grooming future leaders, who must be hard working, focused and contribute meaningfully to nation-building.
“As future worthy leaders, you must awaken yourself, you must have zeal to do things differently from what has be done, and you will achieve success,’’ she said.
According to her, LEASRN will help the youth to sustain their dreams.
“There are so many things that are happening now which were not there when I was growing up.
“There are so many challenges faced by the youth today; there are many things they are contending with, and if we do not put them right, things will go wrong.
“It is necessary to take the pains to groom them in the right direction and find solutions to their problems,’’ she said.
She said that the project had recorded successes especially in the area of skill acquisition.
“We do not want to take care of the youth forever; we want them to be able to take care of us in our old age; that is why all these measures are in place,’’ she said.
Mrs Bisi Awoyomi, the LEARN Project Manager, said that some youths had benefitted from the project in spite of funds constraints.
“The youths are also encouraged to give back to the society what they have learnt so that others will benefit.
“Funding has been a challenge but it will not deter us because we are out to positively affect the lives of people,’’ Awoyomi said.
A sickle cell patient, Miss Rukayat Olayemi, who participates in LEARN, told NAN that she was determined to develop herself in spite of her health challenge.
She said that the project had provided a platform for her employer, Genotype Foundation, to educate the youth on the need to know their genotype.
Olayemi said that LEARN inspired her to be self reliant. (NAN)