Hon. Desmond Elliot, a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, representing Surulere Constituency 1, has urged the state government to redirect its focus towards the growth of Small Medium and Enterprise (SMEs) and Agriculture in the state.
Elliot gave the advice during the Farmfair Exhibition he organized in conjunction with the youth at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos on over the weekend.
The lawmaker said that the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund had a lot to do in 2021 if the state government was really sincere towards improving and growing SMEs and Agriculture in the state.
“Above everything if there is any positive thing the EndSARS had taught us, it is that the state government should start redirecting their focus towards the growth of SMEs and also youth empowerment.
“Youth empowerment, not just education but also vocational skills should be emphasized. It means education should be in both formal and informal ones.
“This is because a lot of our youths are outside roaming about the streets and it is not that they do not want to work but there are no jobs out there.
“However, everybody wants to go into formal education, but the government can start training them in fishery, agriculture, fashion design just to mention
“We can’t do so much on large scale Agriculture but we can make almost every home that has a yard to grow a systemic Agricultural produce in their yards,” he said.
Elliot noted that the farmfair exhibition was a partnership between Surulere youth and himself.
The lawmaker said that Surulere youths had come together selflessly to meet farmers, marketers and manufacturers of farm products so that the farmfair could take place especially as the Yuletide period was drawing nearer.
He said that once the youth were given an enabling opportunity then they could achieve their best.
Elliott noted that when the exhibition started on Friday, it was amazing and that it was like a market and that he believed that as the Yuletide session draws nearer it will become more lively.
The lawmaker said that the farmfair was organised to provide relatively affordable for farm produce.
“So Surulere youth had to go directly to the farmers and marketers instead of going through the middle party to bring them down here so they deserves an accolade for this wonderful initiative.
“They were able to get different farm organizations to come to the farmfair and we have for sale bags of rice in local and foreign brands, beans, snails, pepper, tomatoes, onions,
“It is the youth initiative and I bought into the idea because i believe it is a brilliant idea more so we are having empowerment programme in my Constituency for the youths.
“The empowerment programme which is an offshoot of what the EndSARS has taught us is that we should start laying emphasis on the needs of the youths and their plights,” he said.
The event also witnessed the conferment of an award of recognition on the lawmaker by a coalition of Igbo Community in the state.
The group, led by Mr. Sunday Ude, said that Hon. Elliot has been a worthy ambassador of the people of Surulere and Lagos State in general.
Engineer Chuks Odumegwu, Secretary General of the Igbo Community in Lagos, said that they came to honour Hon. Desmond Elliot to let him know that they appreciated his service to the people of Surulere Constituency 1 and the people of Lagos State generally.
“We have come to say thank you for being there for the Igbos in Lagos State.
“We have the executive of the Igbos in Lagos State here and the local government coordinator of the state, as well as the Eze of Igbos in Lagos State.
“The President General of the community, Chief Sunday Ude came here himself to present the award to the lawmaker. He said he must come by himself, which is why we have come today,” he said.
In hi speech, Chief Sunday Ude said that honour should be given to whom it is due and that they believed that Hon. Desmond Elliot deserved the honour.
“We came to present you a deserved honour because of your recognition for Igbo community in Lagos and humanity generally,” he said.