By Israel Afolabi
The successes recorded by the government of the State of Osun on the operations of Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) have drawn the attention of the Ondo State government, which was impressed enough to send a team to Osun in order to understudy the programme.
YESSO which is an offshoot of the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) is a tripartite agreement among the World Bank, the Federal Government of Nigeria and participating states.
The programme was launched in September 2013 with the overall objective to increase access of the poor to youth employment opportunities, social services and strengthen the safety net system.
Addressing the Ondo delegates in Osogbo on Wednesday, the State Coordinator, Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO), Mr. Femi Ifaturoti said that Governor Rauf Aregbesola conceived the OYES idea as a social intervention programme to reduce the unemployment rate among the youths in the state.
The Coordinator declared that OYES, borne out of passion and vision has become a reality, commending the Ondo State Team for choosing Osun to learn from and promised them all necessary supports during the period of their assignment in the state.
He noted that there are similarities between the leaders of Osun and Ondo states in terms of development.
According to him “it is the vision and passion of Ogbeni Aregbesola to put this OYES scheme in place in Osun and we set up this scheme to tackle the problems of unemployment”.
“For the first time in the history of Nigeria, Osun government employed 20,000 youths at a go to reduce unemployment. There are other schemes which have addressed the need of those that are not educated and the vulnerable people in the state”.
In her response, the head of the Ondo State delegation, Mrs. Bunmi Ademosu, who is the Special Adviser to the Ondo State Governor on Inter-governmental Affairs, said the purpose of the tour to Osun was to study the developmental programmes that encourage the youths.
According to her, “We are here to share from the State of Osun experience and to know what the state of the virtuous has been doing to tackle unemployment among youths”.
She said that Osun and Ondo states share the same vision in dealing with youth unemployment, as everybody, according to her, should have the passion and confidence to move the country forward for better.
“With this Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) programme in place, the idle hands will get busy with something worthy”, she added.
In his presentation, the leader of the Osun Project Implementation Unit, Mr. Olugbenga Odulaja emphasised the need to develop youths and engage them for better goals.
In his goodwill message, the OYES Commandante, Col. Eniibukun Oyewole (rtd) noted that OYES is a premier project in Osun which 42,000 youths has passed through to better the lots of the people across the state.
He said, “Osun has a low-crime rate, because the scheme has taken many youths off the streets who now work on building a sustainable society”.
He appreciated the effort of the present administration in the state for the supports given to the programme.