June 20, 2024

Oyo State Government, on Tuesday, unveiled its plans to train and empower 500 youths in the state for lifetime opportunities under a programme tagged Omituntun 2.0 Enterprise Skill Development Programme (OEs-DEP).

It noted that the mega youth empowerment programme is meant for graduates, who are mainly youths and indigenes of the state across the 33 Local Government Areas, including people living with disabilities.

Addressing a pre-event press conference at the Press Briefing Room of the Governor’s Office, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, the Oyo State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Miss Wasilat Adegoke, appreciated the state governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, for the laudable programme, saying youths, especially young graduates, have been yearning for the empowerment and development programme.

Miss Adegoke said that 15 youths, who are graduates and qualified from the entries, would be selected from each local government area in the state for the training.

She added that starter packs to start their businesses would be given to the trainees and that the training would be held in the five zones namely; Ibarapa, Oyo, Oke-Ogun, Ogbomoso and Ibadan.

According to Adegoke, the flag-off of the training will be held between 10th and 13th June, 2024, at the NYSC Orientation Camp, Iseyin.

She said: “I stand before you this morning with all sense of fulfilment and a heart full of appreciation to Almighty God and to His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Oluwaseyi Makinde, for his approval to implement this laudable and life-impacting programme.

“Youths in the state have been yearning for this training and saying that my office and this administration had only been concentrating on sporting activities alone, neglecting the youth development aspect.

“I thank God today that we are implementing a Mega Youth Empowerment Programme where 15 youths would be picked from each of the 33 Local Government Areas to be trained on the art of writing business proposal, tips for successful interview to boost their employability, entrepreneurship and skill acquisition, financial/ business management and sustenance, leadership skills and mentorship, among others.

“Thereafter, trainees would be given starter packs for business start up depending on their areas of interest, and we will mentor them for six months after the training for sustainability and also evaluate and monitor their businesses to know how well they are doing.”

She added that the ministry would soon release a link for interested youths to register their interest of participation, after which successful candidates would be contacted for further interaction.

In his address, the collaborating partner of the programme, Dr Jasper Ezenwaka, said the empowerment programme is skill-oriented and geared towards solving the problem of unemployment in the society.

He noted that the programme will have a multiplier effect and also address youth restiveness, attitudinal reorientation towards self employment, identifying the kind of business to venture into, among other things, assuring that some of the trainees would soon become employers of labour.

He said: “We shall be flagging off with the beneficiaries who are drawn from all the local government areas, 15 per local government will be lucky to become good ambassadors, because if they do well, the governor will be impressed to bring other people on board “

Earlier in her speech, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sport, Mrs Olubukola Oladipo, implored the prospective applicants to be truthful with their data, be of good character during and after the training programme, and also maximise the opportunity given them.

Also speaking, the Director, Youth Development, Mrs Kudirat Mustapha, said the last time an entrepreneurship programme was held in the state was about 11 years ago, noting that the forthcoming training would be different and unique in selection, with at least 80 per cent based on merit and other parameters, including age and the recency of graduation.

She explained that the pilot programme is targeted at the unemployed graduates, assuring that subsequent training would be extended to youths who are already in businesses but still need support for extension.

The Director called on youths to complement the effort of the government and not trade off the empowerment kits that would be given to them in the course of the training.

Sulaimon Olanrewaju
Special Adviser (Media) to Oyo State Governor
May 28, 2024

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