Gov Abiodun launches youth empowerment scheme, harps on self development - THE LIVING GUIDE

Gov Abiodun launches youth empowerment scheme, harps on self development

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By Lekan Lisoye

Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has launched the State Youth Empowerment Scheme (OgunYES) with a call on young people in the State to key into the initiative to develop themselves for a secured future.

Abiodun, who spoke during the launch to mark this year's National Youth Day at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, said the scheme would focus on training participants to become highly skilled artisans.

The event had as its theme: "Youth, skills and insecurity: connection, cost and opportunities."

Participants of the scheme, the Governor explained, would be selected from those already registered on the State's job portal and those who would be registering. 

They would then be matched with off-taker organisations in both the public and private sectors with beneficiaries receiving allowances during the skill acquisition programme, he added. 

The Governor noted that the new empowerment scheme was another window of opportunity for all youth, particularly artisans, to realise their dreams, as there was a link between unemployment, illiteracy and insecurity.

He said, "This empowerment programme will accommodate 250 youth from each of our 20 Local Government Areas – this means 5,000 youth across our dear State. And, we are particularly delighted that this initiative will be another boost to employment generation, poverty alleviation and food security in our dear State.

"And, very importantly, it is a veritable approach towards placing our youth at a vantage position as proud inheritors of the future that we are building."

Abiodun opined that it was imperative to pay adequate attention to the development of the youth as they form over 60 percent of the nation's population. 

According to him, it was the function of the society to help in harnessing and focusing the vibrancy and energy of the youth to positive enterprise. 

"For us as a government, we have and will continue to tap into this raw energy of our youth through different approaches of our policies and programmes," he said.

In his welcome address, the Commissioner for Your and Sports, Mr. Oludare Kehinde, who reeled out some of the achievements of the administration in youth empowerment, said the programme came at a time when issues concerning youth are currently at the front burner nationally.

Delivering a lecture on the theme of the celebration, a social entrepreneur and founder of Rise Network, Mrs. Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji, berated past and present leaders in the country for neglecting the youth for too long. 

She stressed the need for the youth to organise themselves and aspire for leadership positions.

Akerele-Ogunsiji opined that the recent #EndSARS protest was a reflection of anger in the land, adding that it was time to fix education and create jobs in order to channel youth exuberance and energies into viable productivities.

Founder and Senior Pastor, Victory Life Bible Church, Apostle Lawrence Achudume, enjoined the youth to embrace entrepreneurship, while the Chief Imam and Lecturer, Department of Arabic and Islamic studies, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Associate Professor Akeem Akanbi, harped on the need for the youth to be disciplined and lead an upright life. 

The clerics also urged religious leaders to help in bringing up the youth in a righteous way.

Ogun Youth Ambassador and winner of this year's Big Brother Naija, Olamilekan Agbeleshe, advised Nigerians to learn from the #EndSARS protest, while urging government at various levels to put in place viable skills acquisition centres to impart on youth to be solution providers.

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