Fashola Hands Over Mushin Skills Acquisition And Vocational Centre
…Says 13,422 men, women have so far been trained through them
Feb 15, 2011 - Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola on Tuesday handed over the 17th Skills Acquisition and Vocational Centre in the State located at Mushin, revealing that the State has so far trained about 13,422 men and women.
Governor Fashola who spoke at the official commissioning of the Mushin Skill Acquisition Centre said from Amuwo Odofin, Badagry, Egan, Egbeda and Ejigbo, through Eredo, Iba, Ibeju Leki, Igbooye, Ikorodu and Kosofe to Lagos Island, Shibiri in Ojo, Surulere and Agege, the State has continually turned out thousands of young men and women with productive skills with which they are putting food on thousands of tables and contributing to the economy of the State.
The Governor said apart from the sustained support which the State gives to the ordinary people, Government has evolved a people oriented policy of facilitating training for the young people to acquire skills and granting them access to credit to start their own businesses, Government has also created a database for them to establish their location and for them to relate with themselves through the compilation and publication of the Lagos State Business Directory which is similar to "Yellow Pages".
He said beyond all the support for ordinary people, the State has evolved a people oriented policy of patronizing the local manufacturers and entrepreneurs over the foreign producers.
He recalled that the 2010 Lagos Carnival is a clear testimony of the practice as the over 93, 000 pieces of costumes used for the carnival that could have been imported much cheaper was commissioned for local production.
He stressed that the decision to site skill acquisition centres in different parts of the state was part of the administration's resolve to encourage young people to acquire vocational skills and create an avenue to make money and sustain themselves.
Governor Fashola expressed his worry at the recent policy shift by the Federal Government which allows importation of furniture, toothpick, textiles and vehicles of 15 years into the country.
He described the step as an economic tragedy for the nation which is not defensible and called for its reversal.
Governor Fashola stressed that the frenzy of importation has killed the local economy leading to high rate of unemployment and noting that smuggling could be tamed by well structured security mechanisms rather than throwing the flood gates open of goods to all sorts.
"This policy decision is not the answer to the problem of smuggling. The answer to the problem of smuggling lies rather in a methodical and multi-dimensional response. It includes the strengthening of the Customs through technology such as scanners, to improving the local productive capacity of our people and reducing dependence on imports and its attraction", he added.
He said if the Federal Government reverses the policy on importation and concentrate on stimulating the growth of the local industry through accelerated electricity supply, "our freight forwarders, our customs and our ports will become busier from a positive reversal of fortunes that is driven by an export oriented economy rather than an import driven economy".
He urged the people to vote massively for all the candidates of the Action Congress of Nigeria in Lagos because it is the only party that can deliver the goods which is very visible for everyone to see.
He urged the people of Lagos State not to give the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) any chance to rule in any part of the country anymore, adding that it is a party that is rebranding on a vision that is giving Nigerians insecurity and inflicting a nightmare on the people.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, said the location of the centre in Mushin is informed by the administration's policy of tackling poverty and women empowerment at the grassroots.
She said the numerous skill acquisition programmes of the Ministry has offered diverse opportunities to all classes of Lagosians to learn various vocations after which they are provided with needed capital and conducive environment to start practicing their trade.
Mrs Orelope-Adefulire said that so far, over 60,000 grassroots women and youths have been trained in year 2010 alone through the Acquisition centres.
In his welcome address, the Chairman of Mushin Local Government, Mr Babatunde Adepitan said the construction of the Skills Acquisition Centre in Mushin at that particular spot is another miracle of the century which could be better compared to what happened at Oshodi.
He said as a responsible Government the Council received the gift with both hands and has complimented the efforts of the State by immediately constructing all the roads leading to the centre.
In a message of solidarity Commissioner for Environment, Dr Muiz Banire who is also an indigene of the area commended Governor Babatunde Fashola and his team for a job well done in transforming Lagos State.
He said the site of the project was hitherto a major security risk for the residents of the area just as it also constituted an environmental disaster spot, saying through the resourcefulness of the present administration, it has been transformed.
The ceremony was attended by the Deputy Governor, Princess Sarah Adebisi Sosan, members of the State Executive Council, members of the National Assembly and State Assembly representing Mushin and political leaders as well as enthusiastic residents of the area who trooped out to receive the Governor witness the event.