From onset the government of the State of Osun under Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has placed the eradication of poverty at the heart of its social policies. It has to be said that in a very difficult economic climate it has walked the talk.
The proposition is straightforward. To enforce a social contract binding the state and civil society, the construction of social safety nets is important. It is the most enduring way of achieving social harmony and communal solidarity. For in a society filled with risks and potentials, people use social protection and labour market programmes to manage risks and volatility, thus, protecting them from destitution and connect them to reliably provided opportunities. However, for the right implementation of social protection and labour market programmes, stakeholders’ engagement is the most important activity that can encourage ownership of the programmes by the beneficiaries.
We therefore heartily commend the skills-for-job (S4J) component of Osun YESSO which is about building skills of youths between ages 18-35 who are unemployed and with a minimum of JSS 3 certificate, kicked-off with a 2-days orientation which held on 20th and 21st July, 2017. The S4J team mined potential beneficiaries from Osun YESSO Single Register of Poor and Vulnerable Households which was generated from the Community-Based Targeting exercise facilitated by the State Operation Coordinating Office (SOCU) on 23rd July, 2017. A total of 2,869 potential beneficiaries were mined from 18 LGAs with 633 from urban communities and 2,236 from rural communities.
To ensure full participation of all mined potential beneficiaries in this programme, the State Operation Coordinating Unit, OSUN YESSO convened a Stakeholder’s meeting at the Conference room of the Bureau of Social Services (BOSS) Wednesday August 9, 2017. In attendance were Executive Secretaries of the eighteen (18) Local Government Areas which have so far been captured in the Single Register of Poor and Vulnerable Households. The LGAs are Olorunda, Iwo, Ife South, Ife North, Ife East, Ife East Area Office, Ayedire, Ola Oluwa, Boripe, Ila, Ifedayo, Isokan, Oriade, Atakumosa East, Atakumosa West, Ejigbo, Boluwaduro, Ayedaade and Odo Otin. Also present at the meeting was the Senior Technical Adviser to the Governor on Development Partners and International Relations – Dr. Olugbile, representatives from State Ministry of Budget & Planning, National Association of Small and Medium Enterprise and 3rd Party Monitors from YESSO Federal Operation Coordinating Unit.
The Objective of the meeting was to develop a working framework for S4J in the State to ensure all the mined potential beneficiaries participate in the intervention and assign roles to all stakeholders for a successful implementation and sustainability. We commend the initiative of the can – do State Coordinator, Osun YESSO, Femi Ifaturoti who gave an overview of YESSO and its components especially Skills-for-Job. Osun YESSO-S4J Team Leader further explained the activities involved in the nine months engagement of the beneficiaries namely; 3 months Training, particularly for life skills, vocational skills, and entrepreneurial skills; 6 months Internship/Apprenticeship with private and public sector agencies; provision of stipends and starter packs to beneficiaries and tracking of participants through a robust Monitoring & Evaluation system. He also described the various challenges that may hamper the successful implementation of the programme which include transportation of beneficiaries from remote communities to the training centre, partnership with private sector for beneficiaries’ internship and provision of starter packs to beneficiaries after internship. On again we give great kudos to the Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO), State of Osun.