The Governor of the State of Osun, Adegboyega Oyetola, on Wednesday, said his administration was poised to fortify youths for productive engagement, redefine their lives and build a better future for them.
He said the government under his watch would do all humanly possible to provide the framework for all stakeholders to engage, empower, and equip youths of the state to realise their potential and take advantage of the opportunities available to make positive contributions to the wellbeing of their respective communities in the State.
He disclosed the readiness of government to formulate Osun Youth Policy Document which would enable the youths to take their rightful positions as the most productive, energetic and viable segment of the population.
Oyetola stated these while addressing the youths in commemoration of the year 2020 International Youth Day.
Oyetola, who spoke during the virtual meeting organised by the State Ministry of Youth and Sports, said the initiative would go a long way to ensure greater youth participation and engagement in decision making as well as welfare programmes of the government at State and local levels.
According to the Governor, the Policy, when implemented, will ensure sufficient investment by the state through the provision of resources, skilled labour and facilities.
Oyetola, who disclosed that the larger chunk of the government’s policies and programmes are targeted at advancing the productive capacities of youths, said engaging the youth for positive development would ensure a safer society and a better Osun.
The governor, who responded to several questions asked by the participating youths, further assured that the administration would continue to pursue programmes and policies capable of alleviating poverty as well as improving the economy of the State through the involvement of the youths in empowerment activities in different fields of agriculture, sports, information technology, security and fashion designing, among many others.
“As a government, we are conscious of the fact that our youths are not only our future, but also our present hope. We first demonstrated this while constituting our cabinet. We have about four cabinet members, who are in their thirties. One of them is the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Yemi Lawal.
“To further demonstrate our commitment to building our youths and, by implication, building the future of the State of Osun, we have sustained the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) and the Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO), all of which are aimed at alleviating poverty as well as improving the economy of the State through the involvement of our youths.
“In order to consolidate on our gains so far, we are putting a Policy Document together, which we shall soon present to the public for inputs and adoption. The State of Osun Youth Policy Document is a fallout of the country’s National Policy on Youth. In our own policy, we will be talking about the 4Es, namely, Youth Education, Youth Engagement, Youth Empowerment and Youth Entrepreneurship.
“This policy sets out guidelines and provides the framework for all stakeholders to engage, empower and equip the youth of the State to realise their potential and take advantage of the opportunities available to make positive contributions to the wellbeing of their communities across the entire State.
“The State of Osun Youth Policy emphasises greater youth participation and engagement in decision making as well as welfare programmes of the Government at both State and Local Government levels. This Policy will ensure sufficient investment by the State through the provision of resources, skilled labour and facilities.
“We believe that engaging the youth for positive development will ensure a safer society and a better Osun. We also acknowledge the fact that we need to collaborate with other stakeholders to achieve our objective. I am glad to say that our doors are open for such collaborations.
“I must profoundly appreciate you all for your support and goodwill towards our administration. I am indeed most grateful. Rest assured that we will continue to do our best to justify the faith reposed in us as a government”, Oyetola said.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Hon. Yemi Lawal, called on youths to wake up to the call of repositioning, rejuvenating and redefining the economy of the State.
Lawal, who warned youths against unlawful acts and actions capable of jeopardising their future, said the government would continue to create an enabling environment for them to thrive and succeed.
He said the administration of Oyetola would continue to prioritise the welfare and well-being of the people, particularly the youths in the State.
“My message to youths as we are celebrating them today is to wake up to the call for us to have a better nation, a better State and a better community. Our youths must also wake up to ensure a geometric improvement on the State’s economy.
“I want our youths to be better focused and shun all acts capable of undermining their potential as the hope of the state and the nation at large. The time has come for our youths to eschew all forms of violence and criminal activities that can militate against the progress, growth and development of our dear State.
“As we have been saying, we understand that there is so much to do, but we are determined to ensure that the youths are better focused and better attended to. That is why the Youth Policy Document is aimed at ensuring youth education, youth empowerment, youth engagement and youth entrepreneurship.
“I am sure that when these are aggregated, they will further enhance the plans of the government to ensure that youths are better placed in the society”, Lawal added.