Yetunde Oladejo, Osogbo
Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State has stated that for states to reduce the rate of criminality, government must intensify efforts at engaging youths through various empowerment strategies.
Addressing people at a symposium organized by the Adulawo Nigeria Network Limited, at Conference Centre, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Gov. Aregbesola described youth as foundation of governance.
Aregbesola, who was represented by the Coordinating Director, Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Youth Engagement, Dr. Isaac Oluwabukola Aluko, described youths as central to the administration said the current government had successfully harnessed the youth potentials in all its programmes.
He noted that all his policies and programmes had been youth-oriented, saying the swift intervention of his government on Agriculture, education, security among others over the years had yielded positive impacts in the lives of the citizenry.
He stressed that his administration would continue to prioritize the welfare of youths disclosing that over 40, 000 youths on different engagements through an empowerment programme known as Osun Youths Employment Scheme, O’YES, saying the scheme had recorded tremendous achievements.
He also listed the Osun Rural Enterprises and Agricultural Programme (O’REAP) as one of the avenues through which the government had strategically provided opportunities of youths to be engaged.
“Our administration has generated mass employment in all aspects of our programmes and policies because our focus is to enrich common man and as well create wealth for the state.
“Osun Youths Empowerment Scheme, O’YES, Osun Rural Enterprises and Agricultural Programme-O’REAP, Osun Schools Infrastructural Development Programme- O’SCHOOLS, Osun Elementary Schools Feeding and Health Programme- O’MEALS, among others are basically designed to eradicate unemployment in the state.
“Our government resolve is to transform minds for better productivity and as well strengthen the economic value chain for greater development of our state.
Earlier, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, stressed the need for Nigerian governments to prioritize the welfare of the youths in the implementation of its policies.
Oba Ogunwusi who advocated for prompt promotion of local products, however, called on the government to condemn medical tourism being rampant among the rich in the country which he said had constituted a lot of burden on the nation’s economic growth and development.
He said for the country to grow in the desirous right direction, the leaders must live by example and as well design programmes that will cater for the welfare of the citizens especially the youths.
The royal father said the only way to liberate the country from its present socioeconomic, political and security challenges is for government to urgently intervene in the growing rate of unemployment in the country by providing jobs for the jobless.
Oba Ogunwusi who described youths as future of the nation, said the country must explore the potentials embedded in youths for a maximized productivity and economic growth and development.
In his remarks, initiator of the Adulawo Nigeria Network Ltd and CEO, Adulawo Institute Division of the American Heritage Defense Corporation, Professor James Ayinde Fabunmi, who bemoaned alarming rate of unemployment in the country, said the time has come for government to deploy necessary mechanism capable of banishing unemployment in the country.
Fabunmi, who implored governments to declare emergency on the upsurge of unemployment said, the leadership of the country must fight unemployment as it fights insurgency which according to him snowballed into security threat around the country.
Speaking on the objectives of the Network, Fabunmi said the organization was setup having understood that college graduates in many developing economies lack the opportunity to transform their intellectual genius into commercial ventures for a variety of reasons.