The Lagos State Government has congratulated the USAID Youth-Powered Ecosystem to Advance Urban Adolescent Health (YPE4AH) on its establishment of vibrant youth hubs in the various State Government-owned Youth Centres.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Dr. Olugbemiga Aina, gave the commendation at a two-day residential Project Advisory Group (PAG) meeting held at the Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, adding that the present administration is glad that the project is making a positive impact on the youths.
He said: “Since we started the establishment of hubs in the Youth Centres, I have received lots of positive feedback but not only that, I have also visited many of the hubs and saw that they are now vibrant with various ongoing skill activities and health information services. Unlike before, when the youth centre was a place that thrives in illicit and illegal activities”.
Dr. Aina, however, pointed out the need to ensure that the youth hubs become meaningful community-based activity centres in order to reach more out of school adolescents whom the project was designed for.
Also speaking, the PAG Chairman and Director of Family Health and Nutrition, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Folashade Oludara, reiterated the need to gather data on the users of the youth hubs/centres in order to justify government funding and for use in the future decision-making process.
She stated the State Government needs sustainable data and figures to continue funding the programmes and projects, imploring the YPE4AH team to come up with viable data on project outcomes that will help justify continued government support and assistance.
The Chief of Party for USAID YPE4AH, Dr. Boladele Akin-Kolapo appreciated the Lagos State Government for making available its youth centres to house the YPE4AH Youth Hubs, which are designed to be a safe haven for young adolescents to learn new skills for their livelihood and have access to reproductive health information and services.
She stated that the success story of the project has resulted in the establishment of two additional hubs in Ikorodu and Mushin Local Government Areas of the State, envisaging more government support beyond the five-year lifespan of the project.
The Project Advisory Group was designed to offer direction and guidance for the smooth running and implementation of the YPE4AH project. The group serves as the main anchor for leading high-level advocacy as well integrating learning from the project into government policies and programmes.
The meeting also had in attendance the Chairman, Lagos State Local Development Advisory Council, Mr. Amusat Azees, representatives of relevant MDAs, YPE4AH Team, Youth Advisory Committee (Adolescents) and representatives from the Private Sector, among others.