The Chairman, Organising Committee of the Agbado Oke Odo 2021 Summit, Mr. Sheik Olayemi Subaru says the 2021 summit is expected to boost intra and inter African trade while also addressing high youth unemployment in the country.
Subaru stated this while addressing a news conference in Lagos on Tuesday.
According to him, the Agbado Oko-Odo market is ranked second largest after mile 12 market, pointing out that the summit will feature professionals that will deliver professional advice to market traders.
He said there would be trainings and workshops organised for the traders by the summit and urged participating market associations to take advantage of opportunities offered by the summit.
He said with the planned take off of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in top gear, there was need for Nigerian businesses to be fully prepared for it.
“These are some of the things we are trying to achieve so that they can add value to our products and services and like I said, every economy revolves round human capital development, just to make sure that we put the right food on their tables and make sure people are happy from their various trades.
“Agbado Oke-odo has been carved out to be the biggest market in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos in terms of population and land mass and probably the largest market carved out of the 10 communities making up Alimosho LGA”, he added.
He said the summit also sought ways to engage minds of youths in its bid to stop youth restiveness.
He however commended the Lagos state government’s efforts aimed at making lives better for residents.
“I must commend our Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for giving us the support especially in this local government and presently, we are building the ICT market and by the time the ICT market is completed, it will help to alleviate poverty, create more revenues for the local government and create more job opportunities for our unemployed youths.
“This local government is ready and that is why we are trying to sensitise our people that when those facilities come on board, they will be able to take advantage of the opportunities they offer”, he said.
He added that the summit would also help to boost local production taking into cognisance the need to produce quality goods, pointing out that it was one of the surest ways locally produced goods could compete at international markets.
“The AfCFTA is a borderless trade pact but we are not manufacturing enough to compete, they will just dump on us because we are not prepared, but if we are prepared, we can sell our own too but when you have an open market where everybody is bringing and if you have nothing to offer, then there is a problem. So, what we are trying to do is to sensitise our people that we need to be more active, more engaging and more productive”, he said.
Speaking further, he said that beyond the workshop, the organisers would try to reach out to locals through its train the trainers workshops and through their various organisations and associations to create an avenue to advise and empower them with requisite knowledge to be prepared for a competitive market.
He urged the federal government to address the scourge of insecurity in the country, stressing that the menace was as a result of high level of youth unemployment.
He stressed the need for government to create a conducive environment for businesses to thrive as well as organising more vocational programmes aimed at youth empowerment.
“The only thing government can do is to encourage youths to be more engaged because an idle hand is devil’s workshop. Once they are engaged, they will find less time to engage in mischievous deeds”, he further adds.
He said the summit would empower programmes for youths noting that the training programmes on how they could identify opportunities and grow their businesses would be available at the summit.
He said discussions were ongoing with micro finance institutions to make funds available for businesses at friendly interest rates.
Photo: Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
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