'Empowerment; Best Way To Celebrate The Youth,' Says Gov Abiodun - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Tuesday, November 3, 2020

'Empowerment; Best Way To Celebrate The Youth,' Says Gov Abiodun

Governor Dapo Abiodun's Speech At An Occasion Marking This Year National Youth Day Celebration 

On behalf of the Government and the entire people of Ogun State, l join others to welcome all of us to this auspicious occasion marking the National Youth Day, the first of its kind in our Nation. There cannot be a better way to celebrate the youth than empowering them, hence, the decision of our Administration to take the opportunity to flag off Ogun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OG-YES) in our dear State. This Youth Empowerment Programme is another symbolic representation of our Administration’s commitment to ensure increased prosperity for the people and continued development of our dear State.
2.​You will recall that I mentioned during my address at the Stakeholders Meeting on #EndSARS protest held on Tuesday 27th October 2020 that we would launch a new Empowerment Programme for 5,000 youth in our dear State. This is because our Administration appreciates the pivotal place of empowerment towards creating employment; ensuring food security and alleviating poverty. We believe that for economic development to be meaningful it has to translate to individual prosperity. This is part of our approach towards the successful implementation of “Building our Future Together” Agenda.
3.​It is significant to note that our great Nation, Nigeria is a country of teeming youth. Statistics shows that the youth form over 60% of our population. It is therefore important that we pay adequate attention to the development of this group. It is the function of the society to help in harnessing and focusing the vibrancy and energy of the youth to positive enterprise. Youth Empowerment therefore is a way to equip our youth to lead a life that is satisfying in accordance with the cherished values and ideals of the society. In fact, Youth empowerment in any development is imperative not only for personal development of an individual youth but also for national development. Events around the globe have shown that youth development is one of the most effective means that a society pursues sustainable development.
4.​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. Let me state that immediately we were sworn-in on 29th May, 2019, we commenced our Employment Generation Agenda including the Youth Empowerment such as the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme on Agriculture, which was flagged-off on Friday, 6th September; the FADAMA Graduate Unemployment Youth Scheme, (GUYS) launched on Thursday, 29th August, 2019, which is specifically directed at the two vulnerable groups of our population – the women and the youth; the Broilers Empowerment Project, which we recently witnessed the graduation of the first batch of the 54 participants in the Project on 8th October, 2020.
5.​This new empowerment scheme is another window of opportunity for all our youth, particularly artisans and speaks to the theme Youth skills and insecurity connections cost and opportunities. There is a nexus between unemployment, illiteracy and insecurity.
6.​The main features of this particular Youth Empowerment Programme are to:
• Train participants to become largely artisans, such as bricklayers, carpenters, welders and so on;
• Participants will be selected from those already registered on the job portal and those who will be registering;
• Participants will be matched with off-taker organizations in both the public sector and private sector. For example, participants who are interested in the area of building such as bricklaying will be linked with government agencies such as Ministry of Housing, Ogun State Housing Corporation and Ogun State Property Investment Corporation (OPIC) and so on;
• Beneficiaries will receive allowances during the skill acquisition programme. Our partners of private organizations will also be encouraged to do same for apprentices attached to them.
7.​Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, 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.
8.​Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, let me reassure all our people that we will continue to formulate policies and programmes that will increase the individual prosperity of our people and continue development of our dear State. In the area of youth development particularly, we will continue to unleash the creative energies of our vibrant, tireless and motivated youths, and, in fact, all our people towards building a more vibrant economy.
9. ​Before I end this address, let me use the opportunity to commend the youth of Ogun State for their peaceful and matured conduct in the wake of the #EndSARS protest. You have indeed proven that you are Omoluabis and worthy ambassadors of our values. I want to reassure you that your voice has been heard loud and clear, even beyond the shores of Nigeria. And it is gratifying that the Federal Government and State Governments have taken definite and practical steps in response to the agitation. Specifically, in Ogun State, I am sure you are all aware of the initiatives our Administration has taken to address the issues of concern to our youth. Some of these include setting up of judicial panel of inquiry, Special Security and Human Rights Committee under my chairmanship, Human Rights Office with an Ombudsman, forensic laboratory to aid police efforts in intelligence gathering, and assistance to develop the capacity of police in Ogun State to make them more efficient and professional.  
Nonetheless, I wish to stress that no matter the situation or the agitation, the youth should always conduct themselves in a peaceful manner that will not lead to destruction of lives and property. Our youth should realize that any destructive act will affect them more than this present generation, because the youth are the future. If the foundation of today is destroyed, there will be no solid future that we can build upon. That is why you must all ensure that you preserve your today which is a harbinger of your tomorrow. And no wonder Abraham Lincoln and other countless statesmen have uttered some variation of this popular quote: “The best way to predict the future is to create it” – that is, for you to ensure better tomorrow, you should make use of today to prepare that tomorrow. Our today was prepared by some people. Together, we can, and indeed must, work towards the desired future. And just like Yoruba popular saying: “omode gbon, agba gbon, la fi da ile ife”.  I can reassure you that our Administration will continue to sustain our approach of engagement with the youth to understand their concerns and together fashion out appropriate programmes to address them.
10.​At this point, permit me to call on our partners and investors that our doors are always open for genuine partnership, collaboration and, even, investments that will improve on the quality of life of our dear people. I assure you of the readiness and commitment of our Administration, and that you will find us a worthy partner. I also commend all who have been collaborating, and I enjoin them not to relent on our building campaign.
11.​Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, let me reassure you that our Administration will continue to focus on policies and programmes that will accommodate empowerment that will improve the standard of living of our people and reduce poverty. I thank you all for your contributions, support and cooperation as we walk together in this journey to greatness and for the successful implementation of our collective responsibilities in “Building our future Together”. We cannot solve all the problems but we are committed and promise to rebranding this state and leaving this state much better than we met it.
12.​Once again, I commend the organisers and all those who have contributed to the hosting of this event. At this point, it is my pleasure the Ogun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OG-YES) to the glory of God, continued development of our dear State and prosperity of our youth, in particular.
13. ​I thank you all for listening and God bless.
Igbega Ipinle Ogun, ajose gbogbo wa ni!
Prince Dapo Abiodun MFR,

Governor of Ogun State,

Tuesday, 3rd November, 2020

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