Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu said his administration will continue to collaborate with organisations and individuals that promote initiatives aimed at empowering youths to be more productive and self-employed.
The Governor gave the assurance today at the maiden edition of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIBN) new youth development initiative, Generation Next Forum, themed: “Industry 5.0 Banking Revolution: Insights for Generation Next”, held at the Queens Park Events Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented at the event by his deputy, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, stated that his commitment is underscored by the change in his administration’s development agenda acronym T.H.E.M.E.S to T.H.E.M.E.S Plus, which expressed renewed focus on gender equality, social inclusion, and youth development.
He said, “Our commitment is underscored by the change of our development agenda acronym T.H.E.M.E.S. to T.H.E.M.E.S+. This plus expresses our renewed focus on gender equality, social inclusion, and youth development”.
The Governor emphasized that Lagos, being the commercial hub of Nigeria and a leading financial center in Africa, has a unique role to play in embracing and leveraging Industry 5.0, adding that his government is committed to fostering an enabling environment that encourages the growth and development of all the critical sectors including the banking sector in the state.
According to the Sanwo-Olu, Nigeria is blessed with a vibrant and dynamic young population with a median age of 18.1 years and approximately 70% of the population under the age of 30. He noted that the future truly belongs to the youth, and as a nation, it must recognize that the time to empower and prepare them to contribute meaningfully to the economic ecosystem is now.
He, therefore, commended the Institute for its outstanding efforts in organizing the groundbreaking event, stressing that the “Generation Next Forum is not just a one-time affair; but the beginning of a journey towards a brighter and more prosperous future for our nation and its young generation”.
He said, “The Generation Next Forum is not about inspiring ideas only; it is about fostering collaboration and partnerships as it brings together the brightest minds in the industry, experienced professionals, and the youth to work hand in hand”.
While advising the young bankers and finance professionals present at the forum to embrace change, as it is the cornerstone of progress, Sanwo-Olu added that the future belongs to those who dare to innovate, disrupt the status quo, and embrace the possibilities that come with new technologies, by seizing the moment as an opportunity to learn, unlearn, relearn, grow and position themselves as the future leaders.
Earlier, the President/Chairman of Council, Ken Opara stated that the forum is to provide a robust platform for stakeholders to examine the criticality of the Fifth Industrial Revolution and its impact on the banking and finance industry especially as it affects the young generation.
He noted that the event marks a significant milestone in the Council’s relentless quest for excellence and innovative solutions within the banking and finance industry, saying “In our pursuit of progress, we find ourselves at the cusp of a new era, one that has been termed the Fifth Industrial Revolution”.
The President reiterated that the Fifth Industrial Revolution goes beyond the boundaries of technology and efficiency-driven practices. It encompasses a profound paradigm shift that incorporates the principles of sustainability, human-centeredness, and concern for the environment.
He averred that the Industrial Revolution is no longer solely on technological transformation but on harnessing human-machine collaborations for the well-being of multiple stakeholders, including employees, customers, organizations, and society at large.
The highlight of the event was the unveiling of the 60th-anniversary emblem of the body by the Governor.