Fashola Commissions Skill Acquisition Centre, Drivers’ Institute In Ikorodu
• We will continue to expand the frontiers of opportunity in this State, he says
Aug 25, 2009 - Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Tuesday commissioned a Skill Acquisition Centre and the State’s first Drivers’ Institute both in Ikorodu declaring that his administration will continue to expand the frontiers of opportunity in the State.
The Skill Acquisition Centre, which is located on Borokini Street, Aga, in Ikorodu Local Government Area is the largest and the first of more than eleven such centres across the State to undertake the teaching of shoemaking as one of the subjects.
Speaking at the ceremony attended by top political party officials, traditional rulers and top government functionaries, Governor Fashola said the centre is a fulfillment of his electoral promises which he made to the people of Lagos State while seeking their mandate.
He said the essence of the centre is to give opportunities to those who do not have the aptitude to go through formal education to have alternative means to develop their skills and God-given talent adding that no one is totally useless.
“It is a recognition of the fact that not everybody would want a formal and complete education”, the Governor explained and added, “But even if we do have a formal and complete education today, the colour of the global economy is changing and, therefore, certificates from any university is no longer a meal ticket, it is only a step to finding the part to that meal ticket”.
Recalling that the State Government flagged off a Mobile Kitchen service at the Government Secretariat on Monday, the Governor declared, “People must be ready now to use their talents; to use their skills to earn a living”, adding that the interesting thing about the Mobile Kitchen was that the person behind it is not a professional caterer but someone with a different profession who has decided to provide the services that our economy needs.
Citing examples with the owner of one of the biggest furniture manufacturing companies in Lagos and owners of two major fast food catering outlets as people who have ventured into and made a success of professions other than theirs, Governor Fashola said, “This economy needs all of these services. If we do not diversify, if we do not provide this kind of centres for you to learn new skills; for you to be able to provide new services this economy needs, we will continue to complain about unemployment”.
“The game has changed and Lagos is changing with it and everybody must wake up to that change”, the Governor said adding that a nation that does not produce what it seeks to consume is looking for trouble.
He said all the big names in textile manufacturing, fashion designs and eateries that have become household names today started as small family businesses and urges the youths to endeavour to use the opportunity offered by the Centre to acquire skills to enable them build up family businesses that could become household names in future both locally and internationally.
Governor Fashola commended the State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire for her efforts in making the centre a reality adding, “If you are looking for an industrious Awori woman; if you are looking for a passionate Lagosian, if you are looking for a very diligent public servant, then look no further than Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire”.
The Governor also promised that work would soon commence on the construction of the road from Mile 12 to Ikorodu would saying the Government was already fixing the potholes as temporary measures to ease travel on the road pending its complete reconstruction.
In her remarks, the member representing Ikorodu Division in the House of Representatives, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa urged the students to take advantage of the opportunity to better their lot in life and build a future for themselves while also urging the people of Ikorodu and Lagos State to support and protect the investment.
Also speaking, the Publisher of Oriwu Sun, an Ikorodu based Community newspaper, Alhaji Monzor Olowosago, the Chairman Ikorodu Oga Development Association, Mr. Fatai Olukoga and a representative of the students of the Centre all commended the administration of Governor Fashola for living up to his electoral promises to Lagosians.
Earlier in her welcome address the Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Commissioner, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire said the Ikorodu centre would take off with 500 students expressing happiness that the centres in the State will be graduating 4, 468 students in November this year.
She said building skill acquisition centres was one of the strategies employed by the State Government to eradicate poverty and sustain economic growth adding, “It is agreed universally that youths are leaders of tomorrow but this can only come to manifestation if they are properly developed and equipped with needed skills and capacity that will prepare them for future challenges and leadership roles”.
Also while commissioning the State’s Drivers’ Institute; Governor Fashola said Government recognized the need for drivers to continuously update their driving skills and awareness of traffic regulations if the desired levels of road safety in a Mega-City State like Lagos are to be achieved.
According to him, “The commissioning of the Drivers’ Institute represents a fulfillment of a promise and the performance of our social contract on one hand and an investment in the improvement of the quality of lives of our people”, recalling that during the elections when the debates centered on transportation, he promised that if given the opportunity, the Action Congress had the best solution to address the transportation challenges.
“I am very happy and proud to report that while the success of our many programmes continues to attract more people to Lagos, the traffic is getting better by the day”, the Governor said adding that beyond the LASTMA having to manage traffic, all road users, especially drivers have a role to play.
“This is why we are determined to make the Lagos Drivers’ Institutes the key plank of our road transportation policy”, he said.
The Governor said road crashes in the State as analyzed by the Institute showed that 75 percent of them were caused by human error adding that in its effort to curb such errors the State Government has deployed 25 new tow trucks to remove broken down vehicles from the road.
“Through these initiatives being unveiled today, we are creating wealth, jobs and opportunities”, the Governor said adding that the operation of the Institute, Crusher, lane markings and towing programme would generate at least 1, 000 additional direct jobs and another 5, 000 indirect jobs while significantly stimulating the informal economy.
In his welcome address earlier, the Commissioner for Transportation, Professor Bamidele Badejo said the commissioning of the Institute is aimed at addressing the last and most important factor that contributes in no small measure to the incidence of road crashes and disorderliness in the Vehicle, Environment and Man interactions on the roads.
Also present at the occasions were the members of the State Executive Council, Members of the State House of Assembly, top Government functionaries and Traditional Rulers, among others.