Coca-Cola partners Lagos State Youth Ministry, renovates Gbagada Youth Centre

As part of its social responsibility to youth development and healthy living, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited has partnered with the Lagos State Ministry for Youth and Social Development to remodel the Gbagada Youth Sport/Skill Acquisition Centre.

The company made this known at a meeting held with stakeholders at the Gbagada Youth Sport/Skill Acquisition Centre, Gbagada, Lagos on Monday, 7th November, 2016.

The unique partnership draws on the company’s vision to promote sustainable development and empower Nigerian youths to earn a living, to become relevant, and contribute significantly to the economic growth of the nation.

While delivering his opening remarks at the event, the Permanent Secretary of the Lagos State Government Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, said that the remodeling of the youth centre is in furtherance of the goals of the Governor Ambode led administration to meaningfully engage youths in different communities in Lagos. He also expressed that it takes vision to meet the needs of today’s youth, and this sometimes involve practicable things like facility renovation and expansion.

We are excited that Coca-Cola Nigeria has graciously come on board to partner with the Lagos state government on this project. We are equally excited about this remodeling because the results seen so far at the remodeled Onikan Youth Centre are amazing and we want to see similar results in Gbagada too. We want our youths to be able to fend for themselves and to be productive instead of engaging in societal vices.” Mr Muri-Okunola said.

L-R: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola; Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Mrs. Uzamat Folashayo Akinbile-Yussuf and Community Affairs Manager Coca-Cola Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Emeka Mba

L-R: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola; Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Mrs. Uzamat Folashayo Akinbile-Yussuf and Community Affairs Manager Coca-Cola Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Emeka Mba

Speaking on the remodeling of the Gbagada Youth Centre, Mr Emeka Mba, the Community Affairs Manager at Coca-Cola Nigeria Ltd stated that the project aligns with the company’s vision for promoting sustainable communities through social enterprise development.

Nigeria’s youth bulge is at risk of becoming a youth bomb owing to a very high youth employment rate. A sustainable solution to this comes through the Golden Triangle framework where society’s three critical sectors of development partners -Business, Government and Civil Society resolutely commit to providing a sustainable solution to the crisis. Upon completion, the facility which is designed with the touch-points of the youth in mind, would provide the youth access to an inclusive ultra-modern Astro turf for football; sanitation hygiene facility, and multi-purpose hall to promote Youth Learning and Development,” Mr. Mba remarked

He further called for an increased commitment by the stakeholders towards the development of the community and to provide the necessary support over the course of the Project.

Also speaking on the project, the Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Honourable Mrs Uzamat Akinbile Yussuf said that the project was in line with the vision of the government to transform the youth centre into a world class sporting facility in order to revive grassroots and community sports.

The plan is aimed at providing sports parks and recreational facilities in various neighbourhoods to revive grassroots, community and school sports. This edifice when complete would revamp schools and after-schools sports as well as serve the entire community” Honourable Uzamat commented.

Meanwhile, the Baale of Gbagada, the traditional ruler of the community lauded the initiative as one that will make the community a better one and enjoined the contractor to engage youths and artisans living in the area as direct labourers in order to improve the economic activities of residents in the area.

The Ministry of Youth and Social Development provides social development and protection services that give support to vulnerable members of the society such as youths, children, persons living with disabilities, orphaned and the elderly.

Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited is a subsidiary of Atlanta-based “The Coca-Cola Company” (“TCCC”) and part of the Coca-Cola system in Nigeria. They are responsible for the strategic marketing, brand management, packaging strategy, consumer promotion, advertising, public relations and market research of Coca-Cola products in Nigeria, while Nigerian Bottling Company Ltd does the bottling and sale of the products.

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