By Lanre Adesanya
A Lagos lawmaker, Hon. Victor Akande has urged Nigerian youths to embrace merit in their chosen fields to contribute their quota to national development.
Akande, representing Ojo Constituency I at the Lagos State House of Assembly, made the plea, when he graduated and empowered about 300 students, who he sponsored in computer training programmes.
The lawmaker said that any nation that failed to empower her youth would not only be deprived of peace and development, but also had no future.
He said: “The youths are the leaders of tomorrow, if they are not empowered, they would become problem for us.
“We must reach out to the youths through computer training programmes because they are the ones the society would fall back to later.
“During my campaign, I told my people that I would give them from the little I have to create a footprint in the sand of time and that is what I have done today.
“I did not do it for show off but for the people of my constituency. It gulped a lot of money, which I don’t need to mention, but I am happy with the knowledge the youth have acquired.”
Akande said further that he had earlier inaugurated 10 boreholes with power generating set and provided computers in each of the schools in the constituency as part of efforts to help the people.
“I have tried to give my widow’s mite to indigent people in the area, I am giving out 100 JAMB forms today, we will do our best to make life comfortable for our people.
“I have also given trophies to schools for competitions, and I have been taking care of some elderly ones. We have done so many things to bring succour to the people.
In his remark, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa said that the lawmakers in the House love and support themselves regardless of party differences.
Obasa, who was represented by the Deputy Whip of the House, Hon. Omotayo Oduntan, said that the interest of the state was paramount to all lawmakers.
According to him, Akande has done wonders with the empowerment programme for the youths.
“This is the first time one of the representatives will be doing something of this magnitude. It is the beginning of good things and it will never be the end.
“Our duty as lawmakers is to make law, but if God puts it in our mind to assist the people, it is a thing of joy.
He then called on the youths to make maximum use of the training to secure a bright future for themselves.
One of the graduands, Master Segun Babatunde said that training and the skill he acquired in Networking and Hardware Maintenance had built a future for him.
Babatunde said: “I didn’t believe it would be this real and marvellouas initially, I have gained a lot without any charge as a newly newly graduated student of Lagos State University.
“This training is worth about N60,000 or N70, 000 outside. I am really grateful to the lawmaker. It will help whatever skill I have acquired in school. IT is what all graduates should have.
“A programme like this takes the youths off the street . It is a big opportunity for me.”
Another beneficiary of Networking/Hardware Maintenance training, Master Oluwatobi Ikuforiji, said: “This programme has changed my life for good. It has given me a purpose and directive in life.
“This lawmaker has changed my life from nothing to something. It has given me greatest opportunity in life.”
Also, Mrs Mary Lawani, a beneficiary of Microsoft Application and Graphic training said she would use the training to open a business centre to earn a living.
Awards and 40 laptop computers were given to outstanding students.
The students were trained in Microsoft application and Graphic, Software Development/Data Administration and Networking/Hardware Maintenance.