The Lagos State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a German Development Agency, GIZ, on human capacity development with a special focus on the youths for increased economic productivity.
The MoU, signed by the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Samuel Egube and the Country Director, Nigeria & Ecowas, GIZ, Ina Hommers, aims to provide a viable skills development programme that would empower the young people for employment opportunities and thereby enhance the economic growth of the State and the nation at large.
Speaking during the signing ceremony in Alausa, Ikeja, at the weekend, Mr. Egube, said “Beyond focusing on just the infrastructure development, we are focusing on training and developing human capacity as well as systems that make those things sustainable. This is the challenge in Lagos and we intend to pursue it with all our hearts”.
“There is a lot we are doing by focusing on human development because everything we do revolves around developing our human capacity. What is the use in having great infrastructure, but without a positive reflection on the people? If you are doing infrastructure it must be sensible enough to support the development of young people and the development of their enterprise”, Egube said.
The Commissioner expressed happiness at the new partnership, which will open up new ideas that would complement State policies and expand the capacity of government programmes towards improving the livelihood of the people.
“I am happy that we are able to reach some kind of understanding to work together. As far as Lagos is concerned, we do not believe we have the knowledge to do it all on our own. We believe that knowledge is completely dependant on the quality of people sitting at the table. So we see your coming to join us to sit at the table as something that expands both our capacities in order to make a difference”, Egube stated.
Also speaking at the event, the Consul-General, Federal Republic of Germany, Dr. Stefan Traumann, said that the partnership would support many youths and small businesses through the current difficult economic phase and help build for them something sustainable.
He said Lagos State is well known for its youth engagement initiatives, empowerment and social development and so this collaboration with GIZ makes perfect sense, adding that it came at a good time based on the negative impact of COVID-19 on the world economy.
“As we all know, the majority of the Nigerian population as well as Lagos population is young and so there are undoubtedly many talented youths sitting idle at home wishing they had training opportunities to learn new skills to be engaged positively and to earn some money for themselves. This initiative will support many youths and small businesses through this tough phase and help them build something sustainable. This MoU is an important milestone for German-Nigerian partnerships, especially in youth development,” Traumann said.
In her remarks, the Country Director, Nigeria & Ecowas, GIZ, Ina Hommers, said the MoU is an excellent opportunity for strengthening the relationship, which has been built with the Lagos State Government on skills development as well as the creation of employment opportunities for the youths.
She added the signing of the MoU should be a stepping stone towards more partnerships in the future, saying “We intend to commence the public-private initiative in Lagos before extending it to other states in the country”. Hommers said.
Also present at the MoU signing ceremony were Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Diaspora Affairs, Mr. Jermaine Sanwo-Olu; Director, Departmental Partnership, Lagos Ministry of Economic Planning, Mr. Pekun Sobodu; Executive Secretary, Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB), Mrs. Ronke Azeez, Officials of GIZ Nigeria and representatives of the State Ministry of Justice among others.