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Lagos State Launches Demographic Dividend Roadmap In Partnership With UNFPA, Access Bank, HACEY

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L-R: Dashe Dasogot, Head, Population and Development Unit, United Nations Population Fund; Rhoda Robinson, Executive Director, HACEY Health Initiative; Gbenga Omotosho, Honourable Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lagos State; Sam Egube, Honourable Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Lagos State; Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, Head, Group Sustainability, Access Corporation, and Lanre Olaniyan, Professor in the Department of Economics, University of Ibadan at the Lagos State Demographic Dividend Roadmap and Profile official launch event held at the Access Towers in Lagos on Thursday.

To herald new thinking with optimum population management, the Lagos State Government has partnered with the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, Access Corporation, and HACEY to launch its first demographic dividend roadmap and estimation profile.

The launch event was held last Thursday at the Access Towers in Victoria Island, Lagos.

The state government said that the launch of the roadmap will boost credible data collection in terms of population growth, investment, employment, governance, skills development, and migration.

Speaking in his welcome address, the Special Adviser to the Governor, Economic Planning and Budget, Aare Adebayo Sodade, said the launch of the Lagos State Demographic Dividend Roadmap and Profile is intended to herald new thinking with optimum management while noting that it is line with the international best practices to ensure that human capital, growth, and development are on the front burner of socio-economic plans, programs, and project.

“The demographic dividend estimation profile is intended to identify the logical potential that can be harnessed by countries during a period of demographic transition. It is a long look through the window of opportunity and their use depends on several aspects like economic institutional conditions of states, operations of the financial sector, and family behavior amongst others.

“African leaders have already expressed the willingness of their countries to carry out actions for the realisation of the demographic dividend. Thus, Nigeria has commenced the process of reaping its economic potential with the development of roadmaps that will assist in realisation of the demographic dividend. I’m gratified to tell you that Lagos State was the first state in the country to resonate with the initiatives through active engagements of a consulting outfit led by a Professor of Economics from the University of Ibadan, and supported by the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, the Ministry of Economy Planning & Budget, under the 7th LASD UNFPA country program,” Sodade said.

Mr. Dashe Dasogot, Head, Population and Development Unit, United Nations Population Fund, who represented his country representative, during his goodwill message, reiterated the continuous support of the agency while also commending the Lagos State Government for championing the course for demographic dividend as far back as 2015.

“Over the last six years, with the support of the UNFPA, the Lagos State Government has spearheaded the demographic dividend initiatives at the sub-national level. This started with the successful commissioning of the demographic dividend, the development of seminar policy brief in 2015, and the presentation to the Governor in 2016. In this regard, the state government has served as a pioneer in the development of the implementation of guidelines aimed at streaming the demographic dividend initiative into the respective mandate and statutory responsibility of its ministries, departments, and agencies as already stated by the Lagos State Development Plan 2022.

“These efforts are indicative of a government that is very committed to harnessing its demographic dividend and UNFPA, is proud to be a key partner to the state government on this.”

L-R: Bernard Orji, Partner, Core Business Operations, Delloite; Morise Atoki, Chief Executive Officer, African Business Coalition for Health; Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, Head, Group Sustainability, Access Corporation; Bekeme Masade, Chief Executive, CSR-in-Action, and Victor Okhai, President, Directors Guild of Nigeria at the Lagos State Demographic Dividend Roadmap and Profile official launch event held at the Access Towers in Lagos on Thursday.

Also speaking at the event, the Head of Sustainability at Access Corporation, Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, said that partnerships are very important in achieving sustainable development, hence the bank seizes every opportunity it has to partner in a credible manner.

“We have been partnering with the HACEY Health, UNFPA for a while on the issue of demographic dividends and we’ll continue to support initiative in this regard. The Lagos State Demographic Dividend Roadmap has been in the works for a while and the realisation of this feat is a true testament to the commitment to driving the economic and development advancement of our great nation starting with Lagos.

“Africa is on the march towards a more prosperous future in which all its citizens, young, old, female and male, rural, urban, of all backgrounds are empowered to realise their full potentials and live with the satisfaction and pride about their continent. Africa is a great continent and I am proud of Africa regardless of the challenges which are not peculiar to Africa alone but again as we work together, we move things forward.

The Executive Director, HACEY Health Initiative, Rhoda Robinson, HACEY has spent over 15 years working actively in the development space to ensure that the underserved population, especially women and young people achieved and are partakers of development and are not overlooked from the grand scheme of things.

“We see Lagos state taking a lead in this arena and championing that cause and for us at HACEY, we will continue to collaborate with the Lagos state government and other stakeholders to ensure Nigeria gets to achieve its full potential in the demographic space”, Robinson said.

Similarly, in a panel session on Harnessing the Demographic Dividend in Lagos State: Opportunities, Challenges and Way Forward, Ms Celine Lafoucriere, Chief Field Office, UNICEF, Lagos, Bernard Orji, Partner, Core Business Operations, Deliotte, George Adjete, UNFPA Youth Participatory Platform, Dr. Noah Olaseinde, Economics Lecturer, University of Ibadan, Dr. Mories Atoki, CEO, African Business Coalition on Health, Rhoda Robinson, Executive Director, HACEY Health Initiative called for the immediate implementation of the demographic dividend roadmap.

To climax the event, the Lagos State Demographic Dividend Roadmap and estimation profile was unveiled by a representative from the Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning & Budget, who was joined by other dignitaries at the event.

Some of the dignitaries at the event include Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, the Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Lanre Olaniyan, Professor in the Department of Economics, University of Ibadan, Bekeme Masade, Chief Executive, CSR-in-Action, and Victor Okhai, President, Directors Guild of Nigeria, amongst a host of others.

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