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Group urges LASG to provide smoke-free public places



The Protecting and Activating Communities (PACT) Against Tobacco, a youth-led initiative, has called on the Lagos State Government to provide smoke-free public places to ensure implementation of the Tobacco Control Act of 2015.

This is contained in a statement in Lagos on Friday by Lagos Lead Officer of PACT, George Adjete,

Adjete urged the government to take decisive action towards a smoke-free future by banning smoking in public spaces and putting up smoke-free signage in all public spaces.

He said PACT gave the advice during the CleanAirNaija Stakeholders’ meeting organised in Lagos, saying the call was to strengthen the implementation of the tobacco.

The reports have it that the National Tobacco Control Act, 2015 regulates all aspects of tobacco control including smoke free places, tobacco advertising, sponsorship, tobacco packaging and labeling.

Adjete said, “Nigeria, according to the reports, has the fourth-highest number of deaths from second hand smoke in Africa, with 27.6 million Nigerians exposed to smoking in public places.

“The urgent need to create smoke-free public places in Lagos State cannot be overemphasised and the government’s response to this call is eagerly awaited.

“Lagos is a pioneer member of C40 Cities, a global network of major cities that work together to address climate change and sustainable environmental practices with a focus on quality air.

“It is important to mention that tobacco smoke is a harmful pollutant because it’s an aerosol full of particles from burning tobacco and additives.

“These particles are numerous than those emitted by an idling diesel engine, to give you an idea, if you smoke three cigarettes, in 30 minutes you emit 10 times more harmful particles than a diesel engine.

“Government officials should converse with young people to enforce laws and implement policies against tobacco misuse, especially in public spaces within the state.”

Adjete added that smoke-free spaces were critical for the health, and economic growth of the nation

“Government should create awareness/campaigns to enlighten people on the dangers of second-hand smoke and avoid further construction of designated smoking areas to avoid indoor smoking,” he said.

Mr Lana Promise , the President of Lagos State University Medical Students Association, also called on government’s agencies saddled with the responsibility of enforcing the tobacco act collaborate with youth-led movements to ensure implementation.

Mr. Babatunde Ajayi, the General Manager of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), said youth engagement, public awareness campaigns were among steps being taken by the state government to address tobacco control.


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FG to Harness the Digital Economy to Empower Youth



Joel Ajayi

The Honourable Minister of State for Youth Development, Mr Ayodele Olawande has disclosed that the Federal Government is making efforts to harness the potentials of the digital economy in empowering the youth and creating sustainable jobs. 

He made this disclosure in Abuja  when he received the participants of the Senior Executive Course 46, 2024 of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos, Plateau State  who were on study tour to the Ministry. 

Mr Olawande said over 50% of the population below the age of 30 have a significant demographic advantage in the digital age.

“Our youths are tech-savvy, innovative and eager to contribute to the country’s economic growth. However, they face numerous challenges including limited access to quality education, skills training and job opportunities. 

The digital economy offers a unique opportunity for Nigeria to leapfrog traditional development challenges. With the rise of e-commerce, digital payments and remote work”.  “Our youths can assess global markets, skills training and job opportunities like never before,” he added. 

According to the Minister, challenges hindering the growth of the digital economy in Nigeria must be addressed. 
He explained that to overcome the challenges, the Ministry has implemented initiatives such as digital skills training programs for youths, focusing on areas like software development, data analytics and digital marketing especially in the NYSC.

This, he disclosed is alongside partnering with Galaxy Back Bone to improve infrastructure, Internet connectivity and alternative electricity supply as well as funding opportunities such as grants, loans and venture capital for  startups of small businesses with launching of the National Youth Investment Fund.

  The Honourable Minister who hinted that the Ministry’ s goal is to create an ecosystem that supports entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for youth stated: ” We recognise that sustainable job creation is critical to Nigeria ‘s economic growth and stability”   

”I urge you all to join us in this journey to harness the potential of the digital economy for youth empowerment and sustainable job creation in Nigeria.”, he added. 

Mr Olawande further said that the opportunities and challenges underscore the need for a collaborative effort from all stakeholders to harness the potential of the digital economy for sustainable development.

The Minister who observed that there is a gap between the Government and the young people expressed his heartfelt desire for the Youths of the  nation to feel the Government. He opined that the  country has the most intelligent youths in the world. 

Earlier, the leader of the delegation from NIPSS, Barrister Nima Salman Mann, mni said they are in the Ministry to research, proffer solutions, recommendations and strategies to help Government chart its course for the the year, with the theme : ‘Digital Economy, Youth Empowerment and Sustainable Job Creation in Nigeria: Issues, Challenges and Opportunities’.

.She  also added that Ministry of Youth Development is very germane to this year’s theme .” We are with the Ministry of Youth to listen to what you are doing to help the youth, how you are doing it, strategic plans and way forward  as well as how we can use the digital economy to chart the goal for sustainable job creation,” she concluded. 

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