The Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, on Thursday said the O’REAP Youth Academy is more than a mere indication of its administration’s resolve to improve agricultural productions but a way of banishing hunger and unemployment in Osun.
He made this disclosure at the launching of the second edition of O’REAP Youth Academy organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, held at the Bola Ige House Secretariat in Abeere.
The governor noted that it is a remarkable mark of the administration’s gritty determination to frontally engage the social cankers of poverty, hunger, and unemployment.
He pointed out that a total of 610 O’YES Cadets were trained last year at the O’REAP Youth Academy Farm Centres located across the nine Federal Constituencies in the state.
The governor stressed that participants were selected at 20 per Local Government and 10 from Ife East Area Office.
He also added that this year’s edition of the O’REAP Youth Academy, witnessed a significant rise in the number of youth participants, noting that each of the 332 wards in the state is fairly represented with three O’YES Cadets per ward, accounting for 996 Cadets to be trained in modern agriculture at the nine training centres of the O’REAP Youth Academy.
According to him, “some of those trained then have formed themselves into cooperatives and have also settled down to serious agricultural enterprises with meaningful financial support from the Quick Impact Intervention Programme (QIIP) of O’REAP and other micro-credit windows of the State Government of Osun.
“It is a sure path to ensuring sustainable food production and wealth creation, and we have chosen to walk it without distraction. Aregbesola noted.
He revealed that O’REAP Youth Academy is established with realisable objectives meant to mitigate the unbearable burden of youth unemployment.
In his words, “in many developing economies in Africa, youths make up one fifth of the population. They are often the most adversely affected when it comes to the scourge of unemployment. As the most vital component of human resource, their idleness and lack of productive engagements do not bode well for the socio-economic affairs of any society.
“It is in view of the need to tap the invaluable asset of this group of people and channel their energy towards the development of self and society that the present administration initiated youth-focused programmes.” The governor pointed out
Aregbesola held that the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (O’YES), its other component – O’YES-TECH –, and O’REAP Youth Academy are some of the major platforms through which its administration is scaling down youth unemployment and profitably engaging our youths in the State.
Earlier in his remarks, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Prince Adewale Adedoyin, said the problem of youth employment in Nigeria in the country remains a source of concern to government and non-governmental organisations as well as private individuals.
Adedoyin said the government of Osun instituted the youth -friendly intervention programme tagged OREAP Youth Academy, Agriculture-in-Schools and Young Farmers Club to curb youth unemployment and its attendant social menace.
He noted that OREAP Youth Academy has been conceived and implemented as a deliberate policy for the purpose of empowerment of youth in the state.