Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State (m) giving updates on COVID-19 in the State.

Adebayo Obajemu

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at the flag-off ceremony of the Year 2020 Lagos State Graduate Internship Placement Programme (LASGIPP), on Tuesday challenged graduates under the Graduate Internship Programme to prove their mettle at their various places of internship, stressing that they should not be contented with the monthly N40,000 stipend given by the State Government but to aim for a higher goal of being financially independent.

The Governor Sanwo-Olu challenged the beneficiaries of the internship programme to shun complacency and pursue the bigger picture of being Chief Executive Officers of their individual companies later in future.

The Governor, who was represented at the event by the Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Mrs Yetunde Arobieke, pleaded with the interns to make the State Government proud in their respective organisations by being assets and not liabilities to their employers.

In his words, “What we have done as a government is to provide an enabling environment for you to prove your worth. It is automatic that if you perform excellently well, the organisation where you serve, will not let you go after the six months internship but will engage you further”.

“The Graduate Internship Placement Programme we are flagging off today is one of the State government’s capacity building programmes developed to change the narrative about our graduates being unemployable and lacking the requisite work environment ethics and culture. It is a unique variant among the numerous programmes designed to reduce the increasing unemployment rate in the country and also accelerate the State’s post-COVID economic recovery”, the Governor stated.

Sanwo-Olu added that the present administration recognised the role of the private sector in finding a sustainable solution to the issue of unemployment, necessitating the implementation of the internship programme as a collaboration with the organised private sector in order to create employment for qualified graduates.

He informed that the programme is expected to provide an opportunity to expand the interns’ knowledge, create benefits from invaluable job experience as well as network building and also provide opportunities for talented graduates to gain practical, technical, administrative insights and industry experience.

The Lagos State Governor further explained that LASGIPP is helpful in developing employability and work-ready skill sets, getting a first-hand look at revolutionary business solutions and making good products better and collaborating with others to solve problems among others.

In his remark, the Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Wealth Creation, Mr Jude Idimogu, expressed the belief that the engagement of the graduates as interns despite the myriad of challenges of Y2020 shows the genuine commitment of Governor Sanwo-Olu to gainfully engage the youths.

He urged the beneficiaries to make the best use of the opportunity to gather enough experience that would give then an edge over their contemporaries either in securing paid employment or as independent entrepreneurs.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr Segun Dawodu assured that applicants under the GIPP, who are yet to be captured, would be included in the subsequent editions of the Programme.

He promised that year 2021 would witness more of Youth friendly policies and increased engagements with the young generation and some stakeholders in the society, in addition to the promotion of grassroots sporting activities.