Youth Minister, Olawande Visits Tony Elumelu Foundation, Calls for Collaboration In Skill Devt

The Minister of State for Youth Development, Engr. Ayodele Olawande on Thursday met with the management of Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) led by Ms. Somachi Chris-Asoluka.

The meeting, which was held at the Lagos office of the Foundation, focused on exploring potential collaboration and partnership between the Federal Ministry of Youth Development and TEF, especially in the areas of skills and entrepreneurship development.

While emphasizing the need for sustained working relationship between public and private entities, the Minister noted that more and quicker results are achievable when multiple stakeholders combine efforts.

“Coincidentally, just yesterday at the Lagos State Employment Summit, I spoke on the need to encourage deeper collaboration between public and private sectors. Today, I am here to follow that talk with action by coming to discuss how we can partner to better the lots of the youth,” the Minister said.

While acknowledging the tremendous impacts the Tony Elumelu Foundation has made over the years, especially in the areas of job creation and poverty reduction through their entrepreneurship programme, which has made many young people across Nigeria and Africa employers of labour; Olawande noted that a partnership with the Ministry of Youth Development can help to deepen the achievements of the organization.

In her response, the Chief Executive Officer of TEF, Somachi Chris-Asoluka, applauded some of the initiatives of the Minister, stating that she was particularly excited with the fact that many of the programmes had components that prioritized the needs of youth at the grassroots.

“I love the fact that you are engaging with young people, and I think that is the best thing to do, if only to allow them a chance to have a say in how they want to be helped,” the TEF boss noted.

While itemising potential areas of collaboration, Ms. Chris-Asoluka pledged the support of the Tony Elumelu Foundation for the Nigerian Youth Academy (NiYA) project and the Corpreneur Support Initiative of the Youth Ministry.

The Minister was joined on the visit by some of his aides, and the Vice Chancellor of Iconic University, Dr. Shadi Sabeh.

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