PREPARING OUR YOUTHS FOR THE WORLD OF WORK
I am glad to be here today, particularly in the company of final year students of our tertiary Institutions, on whom the success of this great country and state depends.
The “Ready, Set, Work” programme was conceived as a capacity building initiative, targeted at final year students in Lagos State tertiary institutions with a vision to ensure our graduates emerge as ready products for the increasingly competitive labour market, and more importantly, as job creators.
This initiative will enable many of you seated here today to get internship placements in high ranking corporate organisations, and also provide a platform for those with viable business ideas to benefit from angel investors and the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund.
“Ready, Set, Work” has been a journey requiring passion, diligence, discipline and perseverance. I say a big CONGRATULATIONS to those of you who made it to this stage.
I must emphasize however, that this is only the beginning. In the face of ongoing economic challenges, this is a time to push ahead with the same strength and focus that brought you to this point, and to pursue with vigour the knowledge, skills, and ideas formed in you over the last 3 months. The private sector would benefit from your passion and professionalism, while the entrepreneurial world awaits your vision driven ideas.
As you progress in your journey, strong discipline remains an imperative. As pilots and ambassadors of “Ready, Set, Work”, you must uphold the positive values of decorum, respect, and self-management. Stand out and stand apart from the crowd in the “outside world”.
At your places of work, give not only your best, but what is required. Always be ready to go the extra mile and create value.
I would like to wrap up with a statement of gratitude to our partners – organizations and individuals whose commitment to the development of students in Lagos State has made this day possible.
To the companies that provided funding and technical support, and to those taking on board 100 of our students as interns, we say a big THANK YOU. I must also acknowledge the over 40 volunteer facilitators, mostly from the private sector, who invested their time and talent in this programme. The value you have deposited in our students will yield positive dividends for generations to come.
The current administration of Lagos State remains committed to capacity building, entrepreneurship empowerment, and sustainable youth development. Our administration believes strongly that the future of our dear State and great country lies in the hands of its Youth who constitute a significant portion of our population.
On a yearly basis, we graduate between 4,500 – 5,000 graduates from our tertiary institutions. Our objective is to ensure that all our graduates have access to RSW and other programs like it.
As you are aware, this pilot program covered 500 final year students. From next year we will expand it to cover 1000 students.
We invite you all – public and private sector, non-governmental organizations, international agencies, and well-meaning Lagosians – to join hands with us in raising students and youths who will transform Lagos State, Nigeria, and indeed, the world.
“Ready.Set.Work” Graduates, I congratulate you once again. Lagos State is proud of you; Nigeria is depending on you; and the world is waiting for you.
Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko, loje wal’ogun!!!
Governor, Lagos State
September 15, 2016