By Ismaeel Uthman
The State of Osun came last on the list of states with highest unemployment rates in Nigeria.
According to a report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for Quarter 4 of 2020, Osun had 11.65% unemployment rate to become the least state.
This is just as the unemployment in Nigeria generally jumped from 27.1% in Q2, 2020 to 33.3% in Q4, 2020, while the underemployment rate decreased from 28.6% to 22.8%.
The NBS report reads: “In the case of unemployment by state, Imo State recorded the highest rate of unemployment with 56.64%. This was followed by Adamawa with 54.89% and Cross River State with 53.65%. The states with the lowest rates were Osun, Benue and Zamfara states with 11.65%, 11.98% and 12.99% respectively.”
Reacting to the report, a former Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Adelani Baderinwa, said it is not surprising that Osun was rated the state with least unemployment rate.
According to Baderinwa, the report is a reflection of the state’s investment in social infrastructure, security, job creation and human capital development.
Baderinwa stated that the solid socio-economic foundation laid by former Governor Rauf Aregbesola through the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme, Agric Academy, OYESTech, Osun Schools’ Feeding and Health Programme (O’MEAL), Osun Rural Entrepreneur and Agricultural Programme (O’REAP), Osun Broiler Programmes, soft loans for owners of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), various empowerment programmes for women, among others, will continue to present Osun in an advantaged position among her peers when that type of rating is done for years.
While commending Aregbesola for his visionary leadership, Baderinwa lauded Governor Adegboyega Oyetola for consolidating the socio-economic programmes of his predecessor by improving on the programmes and expanding their scopes.
The former commissioner described Oyetola as a seasoned administrator, who has been using his financial experience to navigate the state through economic quagmire, which has helped the state in winning more laurels.
Baderinwa urged Oyetola to continue his development drive and making the progressive family proud.
He said with the continuity of the APC government, Osun will continue to dominate the space in areas like provision of job opportunities, poverty alleviation programmes, human and capital development, infrastructure development and social security.
“The essence of continuity of government is to have a continuation of positive policies, programmes and projects which are impactful on the lives of the people and in the development and transformation of the state as we are witnessing in Lagos. There is no doubt that Osun people will continue to enjoy good governance as long as APC continues to rule the state”, Baderinwa said.
In his reaction, the Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties, Mr. Lekan Badmus, said the rating is a reflection of quality leadership that Osun is enjoying.
Badmus said: “Yes, that rating is a true reflection of what we experience in this state. That rating is a product of the intellectual prowess, coupled with selfless leaderships our state is enjoying. It is no doubt that we have been adjudged that in the time past but kudos to Governor Adegboyega Oyetola for consolidating and improving on it by dishing out various social intervention programmes.
“This is no mean feat, but a sincere product of dedication, commitment and serious financial reengineering exemplified by Mr. Governor. In spite of paucity of funds and even in the face of dwindling economy, Mr. Governor ensured continuity of those projects commenced by his predecessor.
“This alone accounts for creation of employments as staffers such as labourers, professionals and material vendors are locally sourced. He didn’t rest on his oars, he ensured new projects are initiated and more importantly executed by local contractors. I know you will agree with me, going by our knowledge of basic Economics, this has a direct and huge impact on the economy of the state.
“It will also interest you that about 4,500 youths in the state received a start-up of about N500, 000 each. Those young individuals with bankable projects were considered and funded. This, I tell you, added significantly to the economy of the state and lifted several individuals out of poverty.”