Fashola urges youths to be self-reliant
Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola at the weekend said Lagosians spend over N36 billion on parties annually.
Fashola spoke at the fourth edition of the Lagos Ignite Enterprise and Employability project, a youth empowerment programme organised by the government and the Afterschool Graduate Development Centre (AGDC).
He said the figure was arrived at after a thorough study of the Lagos party life in five local government areas, including Agege, Mushin, Ifako-Ijaiye and Ikeja.
Fashola said the government discovered that about N3 billion was spent on 1,555 parties in the councils annually.
Urging youths to tap into the investment opportunities by providing goods and services for such occasions, he said: “We did a study between last October and November in Agege, Mushin, Ifako-Ijaiye, Ikeja and another local government. We studied Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, three days every week for four weeks, which was 12 nights.
“In 12 nights, 1,555 parties were held in those local governments. About N1.2 billion was spent on drinks, food and other engagements during such parties. When we disaggregated them, we saw how much went to DJ, MC, food and drinks.”
The governor said clothes worn at such parties, popularly called Aso-ebi, cost, at least, N1.2 billion monthly, saying the market is huge and should be tapped into.
Urging youths to look beyond white collar jobs, Fashola explained the huge opportunities in refuse collection and provision of rest rooms at events.
He said: “Some people have become very smart. They saw the money in refuse. They are PSP operators today and they employ people, own trucks and get loans from banks from carting away refuse. Some of us say refuse is dirty but they will tell you another story. The way we choose to manage our refuse is a cultural problem and that is what Europeans have done differently.
“The market is still very big and if you can envision it, you can do it. The possibilities in the Nigerian market have not been fully exploited. It is for you to decide whether you want to get your hands dirty like the late Otunba Gadaffi of DMT toilets or you want to sit in your house and tell yourself that well, you have just finished school and you do not want to rumple your tie, so you are looking for a job. The solution to unemployment in Nigeria is in three simple words: “Made in Nigeria”.”