The Lagos State Government has inaugurated the 6th Children Parliament in the State, stating that the protection of their rights and nourishment of their ability to attain leadership role is cardinal to the Developmental Agenda of the present administration.
Stating this at the valedictory sitting of the 5th and inauguration of the 6th members of Children’s Parliament held at Folarin Coker Staff Clinic, Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, the Commissioner for Youths and Social Development, Mr. Olusegun Dawodu affirmed that the government is exploring all avenue to improve the aptitude of children across the State.
The Commissioner described the Lagos State Children’s Parliament as a model for nurturing young and resourceful individuals to become decision makers in governance and making an indelible mark in the development of the society.
“The Lagos State Children’s Parliament has remained a model across the nation. Members have continued to distinguish themselves even at the National Children’s Parliament in Abuja”, he stated.
Speaking further, Dawodu pointed out that the present administration places premium on the wellbeing of children in the State.
The Ministry of Youths and Social Development has over the years given opportunity to children and Youths alike to exhibit their potentials through different platforms such as the Children’s Parliament, Youth Parliament, Youth Ambassador and much more.
“To demonstrate the importance attached to the Children’s Parliament, successive government sponsored 42 members to a weeklong leadership exposure programme in South Africa and United Kingdom. This gave them the opportunity to interact with other children in school setting where ideas were exchanged and diverse cultural heritage were learnt”, he stated.
While inaugurating the incoming members of the Assembly, Dawodu stated that a solid foundation has been laid for them, which will make them explore and exploit opportunities for the betterment of children in the State.
“You are expected to surpass the achievements of your predecessors through robust and impactful legislations that should be geared towards the promotion of the development and general welfare of our teeming children”, the Commissioner implored.
The Commissioner however acknowledged the support of other Non-Governmental Organisations and individuals who have partnered with the State in its efforts to make life meaningful for children and other vulnerable groups adding that the Child’s Right Law is undergoing a review.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youths and Social Development, Mrs. Yewande Falugba stated that the Children’s Parliament provides a robust opportunity for members of air their voice on issues affecting their overall growth and development.
She affirmed that the membership of the parliament which is opened to children between 10 to 15 years is a three year single tenure with 40 members and two members representing the State at the National Children’s Parliament in Abuja.
While encouraging the outgoing members of the Parliament, the Permanent Secretary urged them to retain the leadership responsibility repose on through their position, adding that the State will always remember them as champions in the promotion of good values.
“My advice to you is to be good ambassadors of Lagos State wherever you might find yourselves. Desist from all anti-social activities and stand up for what is ideal as this is the only way you can give confidence to the State Government that its future is bright.”, she advised.
Falugba congratulated the incoming members, imploring them to emulate the outstanding qualities of their predecessors by surpassing their legacies, assuring them that government is committed to supporting their initiative during their tenure.
In his remark, the Chairman House Committee on Youth and Social Development, Hon. Ajani Owolabi affirmed that the setting up of the forum is towards building the innate capacity of young individuals and provides a hope for the future of the State.
“I am pleased to witness the future of Nigeria. It is an amazing experience to see children taking up responsibilities that are ordinarily reposed on adult. I encourage you all to be the best version of yourself and be of significance to the progress of children welfare in the State.
Speaking on behalf of the newly elected members of the parliament, the Spaeker of the House, Hon. Sherifat Umar appreciated the State Government for their insightful strength which has made the Children’s Assembly a significant structure in the State’s affairs.
She pledged to continue to hold on to the value of selflessness and patriotism that has distinguished the parliament since its establishment, adding that her administration will improve the quality of service rendered to children across the State.