Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, over the weekend inaugurated the Abesan Youth Centre with the aim to facilitate robust youth engagement and enhance activities geared towards moulding the character of young people positively in their communities.
The governor said building of modern Youth Centres represented a thrust of his administration’s development agenda, aimed at cultivating healthy youth population that would be self-reliant and entrepreneurially oriented. He disclosed that seven other Youth Centres would be completed in the coming months in Badagry, Epe, Obalende-Ikoyi, Orile-Agege, Ibeju Lekki, Surulere and Ikorodu.
He said: “It is my pleasure to inaugurate the Abesan Youth Centre, which embodies our commitment to a legacy of youth development and the acceleration of social development programmes. This articulates my administration’s readiness to focus on youth engagement and social works as a means of promoting equitable economic prosperity for all Lagosians. We will not deviate from this plan, as we are determined to meaningfully engage our youths, which is why this kind of modern Youth Centre is being replicated in other parts of the state."
He assured that the present administration will give youths across the state their rightful place in the scheme of things by widening the space for them to maximise their potentials, through adequate budgetary allocation and implementation of programmes that would positively impact their lives.
The governor listed the programmes to include vocational training of youths on different trades with a start-up grant to establish their own businesses, as well as the provision of adequate attention through proper counseling and other intervention initiatives for those with mental and psychological challenges to engender enhanced productivity.
He also urged young people to seize the opportunity to be trained and equipped for the future.
Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Hon Segun Dawodu, said the Youth Centre was specifically remodeled with youth-friendly amenities to meet contemporary needs of young people, noting that the facility would help build their mental and physical health.
Features in the Abesan Youth Centre include children's playing ground, multipurpose court with spectators’ stand, gym, kitchen, offices, vocational training department and a grassed football pitch with spectators’ gallery that can also be used by Persons Living With Disabilities (PLWDs). The state government also provided 200Kva transformer and generating set to provide electricity at the centre.