Lawmaker representing Epe Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Wale Raji, has said the zeal to render service to humanity attracted him to politics. The lawmaker,
a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), added that after a fulfilled career in the civil service, the issue of how to make his fellow humankind better became his preoccupation.
Hon. Raji revealed this at Epe, a Lagos suburb during the maiden graduation ceremony of his Youth empowerment scheme. The event served as a platform for the presentation of empowerment equipment and tools to the first batch of 129 graduates of the foundation.
The lawmaker further explained that his Youth Empowering Scheme, in partnership with the Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB) had trained about 129 youths in various skill acquisition and empowerment programmes that will make them be self-reliant. He also said the beneficiaries cut across his constituency.
In his welcome address, Raji noted that the foundation was conceived in order to make a sustained impact through quality service delivery to the people of his constituency. He added that the youth in the area have been neglected for too long which has given room for many of them to take to hooliganism and other anti-social vices.
He explained that the Youth Empowerment Scheme was essentially a youth-focused skill acquisition and empowerment initiative which is implemented in collaboration with the Lagos State Technical and Vocational Board (LASTVEB)
He said: “Nobody can make you rich but an opportunity can be created for you to acquire a vocational skill that will always put food on your table and make you financially independent.
“Everybody gathered here today look forward to the success of your new vocation. You cannot afford to disappoint them by betraying the confidence reposted in your abilities, competencies and skill to succeed and make something out of your life,” he said.
In his message to the graduates, Governor Akinwumi Ambode, who was represented by the Commissioner for Wealth Creation, Mr. Babatunde Durotimi-Eti said the Raji initiative couldn’t have come at a better time than now. He also noted that the initiative was in line with the state’s empowerment programme which aims at taking the youth away from the street and assist them to be wealth creators.
He challenged the participants to be focused and look beyond the immediate so as to be part of the revolution going on in the state in terms of wealth creation among the youth, adding that the future of the nation is in their hands.
In his comment, the Chairman of the occasion, Justice Adesola Oguntade said there was no other way to give back to the society than empowerment of the youth in order to make them self-reliant as Hon. Raji was doing. He noted that the gesture would go a long way in discouraging them from taking to crime.
Oguntade, who was represented by Mr. Ayodele Aina regretted that, over the years, the youth which constitute leaders of tomorrow were short-changed in the scheme of things; thereby exposed them to uncertainty and bleak future.
He said the giant step taken by Hon. Raji Foundation by empowering the youth from his constituency, there is a ray of hope for those who can grab the opportunity offered them and launch themselves into economic independence.
“What we are doing today is to bridge the gap that has existed for so long. It is very sad to read from the dailies every day about the huge number of youths who are in various prisons all over the world. These are the youth who were supposed to be engaged in productive enterprise that will give them economic survival like we are doing today,” he said.
Speaking in the same manner, a community leader, Mr. T. J. Abass, noted that the initiative which was the first in the community was monumental; adding that it is a recipe for economic survival for the youth who thought that all hopes were lost.
Abass challenged the participants to make use of the opportunity. “The race of your life has just begun through the benevolence of Hon. Raji. Try and make success of what you were given today. Opportunity comes but once in a life time,” he said.
Speaking to Southwest Report about the empowerment programme, one of the beneficiaries Suleiman Natiq, who graduated as aluminium expert, said the three month-intensive training he received is a life time fortune.
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