3rd August, 2010
Forty-two students from Lagos State public schools Sunday night left Lagos for Johannesburg for one-week leadership training in South Africa as part of the State Governmentâ€™s commitment to expose the Stateâ€™s youths to leadership education.
The students, constitute the third set of students from the Stateâ€™s public schools sent abroad by the present administration for leadership exposure programmes since 2008.
Addressing the students before their departure, the State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Joke Orelope-Adefulire, counseled them to be of good behaviour as ambassadors of not only Lagos State but the entire country.
She recalled that the present administration, under the leadership of Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN), approved the leadership programme as an annual event pointing out that it was as a result of the commitment of the Government to invest in the youths who represent the future of Lagos.
The Commissioner told the children, â€œAs members of the Childrenâ€™s Parliament, you have to be of good character and behaviour; you have to be good children as you are not only representing Lagos State but Nigeria as a wholeâ€.
Congratulating the students for making the list of those who are attending the programme this year, the Commissioner counseled, â€œYou must make the best use of this opportunity as one of the few children chosen across the State for this programme. It is a great opportunity and you must make the best use of it if you want to be greatâ€.
Responding to the address of the Commissioner, Speaker of the Parliament, Hon. Abono Emmanuel, thanked the Lagos State Government for giving them the opportunity of the leadership training abroad. He also thanked the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation for her motherly care and interest since their tenure in the parliament.
The Speaker promised, on behalf of the other members that they would be of good behaviour and good representatives of both the State and the country. He promised the Commissioner that they would make full use of the opportunity given them to become better children and leaders on their return.
In separate interviews, the students expressed their appreciation of the State Governmentâ€™s efforts to create opportunities for them in all spheres of life saying the opportunity to interact with other children in other countries would make them better and responsible children.
Responding to questions from newsmen, the Speaker of the Parliament, Hon. Emmanuel Abono, expressed pride and joy â€œfor this privilege to go out of the country to see what is happening in other countries and to gain more knowledge in order to make positive change for the better when I come backâ€.
Asked about his expectations from the leadership programme, the Speaker said, â€œMy expectation is to be inspired; my expectation is to come back to become a good Nigerian, a great motivator not only to the children around me but the children of Nigeria in general and the children of Lagos State in particular.
Senate President of the Parliament, Hon. Esther Afolayan, in her response to journalistsâ€™ questions, said she would utilize all the knowledge acquired at the programme to make things better for the people around her.Â The 42-member Parliament represents each of the Stateâ€™s constituencies. The Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Commissioner confirmed that the selection is always transparent as it is done in conjunction with international organizations with the best students chosen to represent the Stateâ€™s constituencies.
At the fourth National Childrenâ€™s Parliament, Lagos State Produced the second Senate President in July 2008 while Master Adeniji Lawal emerged Chairman House Committee on Child Development.