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In an effort to ensure that the majority of youths in the State are included in policy formulation and implementation, the Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Social Development, in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA), has recently organised a one-day sensitisation programme for youths with the theme: “High-Level Meeting with Young Policy Makers and Youth Leaders on Harnessing Demographic Dividend”, held at STO Research Centre, Ikeja

In her address at the programme, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Pharm (Mrs.) Toyin Oke-Osanyintolu said the demographic dividend has become necessary because of the significant population changes Lagos State has gone through over the years, noting that the population of youths in the State, which is about 10 million now, is the highest in the country.

She stated that in this regard, the role of policymakers and youth leaders cannot be overemphasised in achieving a population structure that would add value to the economy of the State.

According to her, “The increase in population size accompanied by changes in age had led to the creation and eventual commissioning of the Demographic Dividend Initiative in 2015 with the objective to study the population status and determine the investment climate in the State that will bring about immense gains to residents of the State”.

“Lagos State has attained its First Demographic Dividend and is on the path to achieving the second. The Roadmap and Profile were launched by the Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget in October 2022. Young people in policymaking and leadership positions are to be sensitised on their roles in achieving the Second Dividend”, Oke-Osanyintolu disclosed.

The Head of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA),  Lagos State, Dr Esther Somefun noted that the international organisation was collaborating with the State in pursuit of its mandate to invest in the youth that would in turn develop the nation.

According to Somefun, equipping the youth with requisite skills and providing them with opportunities are some of the things that the UNFPA has put in place to assist them. 

In their presentations, the facilitators, Mr. Basit Baruwa, Deputy Director, Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget and Mr. Ibrahim Oladimeji, UNFPA Representative, enlightened the participants on the “Overview of the Demographic Dividend Profile and Roadmap” and “Youth Angle: Highlighting and Identifying Accelerators Towards Achieving Demographic Dividend In Lagos State”, respectively.

The duo pointed out the different ways the youth can be able to identify opportunities, collect and process data as well as utilise Education, Empowerment and Employment in harnessing the demographic dividend in Lagos State.

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