By Folasade Adeniran
Lagos – The Alliance for Democracy (AD) governorship candidate in Lagos State, Chief Owolabi Salis, on Wednesday said that over 51,600 youths had been given empowerment training in different parts of the state, under his skill acquisition scheme.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of a free empowerment training scheme in Shomolu area of the state, Salis said the measure was to reduce the increasing unemployment rate in the country.
He said the urgent need to tackle the increasing unemployment rate in the country informed the establishment of the 40 training centers across the state.
He said it was a social investment in which any Nigerian irrespective of their tribe, political and religious inclination, could be registered and trained in the centers.
“We started it about two years ago now in Lagos, it is a totally free youths empowerment programme.
“It is all about empowering our youths. I am very happy we have been able to get quite a significant number of our youths off unemployment market.
“It saddens my heart when I see lots of Nigerians go into crimes, prostitution and all that. But with this initiative we are gradually solving the problem,” Salis said.
Salis, who said a lot of people who acquired the skills were doing very well in the country and diaspora, urged Nigerian youths to take advantage of the initiative.
Also, Oba Gbolahan Timson, lauded Salis for establishing empowerment training centers in 44 local government areas of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the youth, who were picked in the five geo-political zones of the state, were trained under the Sails Foundation on hair dressing, barbing, building and electrical.
They were also trained in plumbing , fashion designing , beauticology , shoe making , soap, balm making , among others.
A beneficiary, Mr Taiwo Ilori, told NAN that the gesture was commendable, adding that it had done well in touching lives through the initiative aimed at tackling unemployment and poverty.