By FOLUSHO AJIBUTU
Osun State government efforts on youths empowerment have received a boost, as the state is to benefit from the N50 billion World Bank/ Federal Government youth empowerment fund.
This was disclosed by the Sector Leader of the World Bank on Human Development and Task Leader on Youths Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO), Professor Foluso Okunmadewa, after assessing the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) corps in Olorunda, Osogbo and Ayedaade local government council areas of the state.
Okumadewa disclosed that the state government has achieved a milestone in the area of engaging youths into community development and the World Bank is looking into areas to help the government expand the scope of OYES.
According to him, this is the third time his team would visit Osun to assess the scheme and discovered that the government is showing other states in the country how to get their youths gainfully engaged.
“From our past interaction with the officials of the scheme, we discovered that the scheme is getting beneficiaries involved in community responsibility and this time we are seeking the response of the corps members to understand it more and help the state build upon the success it has achieved”, the World Bank Sector Leader added.
He pointed out that the World Bank would partner with the state government on the youth empowerment model and called on other states to emulate the scheme to make their teeming unemployed youths useful.
The six-man team interacted with the corps members on their areas of specialisation and where the scheme needs improvement.
In his assessment, Yasser El-Gammal observed that the scheme has the potential to be the best in Africa.
“The World Bank is here to assess what the state government is doing and complement its efforts by helping to expand the project. We are impressed with what we see and believe it is a laudable programme on the part of government”, he added.
The leader of the state government team, Commissioner for Youth, Sport and Special Needs, Mr Stephen Kolabalogun, stated that the state administration has not relented in its effort to give the youths the best welfare programme, saying government is aware of the tremendous challenges ahead and would tackle them appropriately.
He maintained that Governor Rauf Aregbesola is passionate about youths, adding that youths would be the beneficiaries of the transformational policies of the government.
“Now, through OYES, the state economy is reaping about N200 million monthly and the moment about 5,000 of the corps members are absorbed into the state teaching service, 5,000 others would be enrolled into the scheme, meaning more hands would be engaged soon”, added the commissioner.
The chairman of OYES Implementation Group, Femi Ifaturoti, revealed that the scheme is not only about engaging youths but also a platform for human capacity building for the teeming unemployed youths in the state.