…says it’s the inspiration behind FG’s N-Power
By Nofisat Marindoti
The Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has applauded the Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola over the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme, O’YES, initiative.
Osinbajo who confessed that the O’YES was the inspiration behind the Federal Government empowerment scheme, N-power, gave the kudos to the Governor during the inauguration of the fourth batch of O’YES cadets on Saturday.
The Vice President noted that it was a privilege to witness the inauguration of the 20,000 cadets whom he described as physically and mentally trained.
“When Aregbesola wanted to start this scheme in 2011, I wanted it to be a National programme and so when we won the Presidential elections in 2015, we started the N-power program which is designed to be very similar to the O’YES.
“The O’YES is the inspiration behind N-power. Now there are over 500,000 N-power voluntaries from every Local Government Area in Nigeria. To the newly inaugurated cadets, the future belongs to you, you are not the leaders of tomorrow but the leaders of today because the future is already here.
“I commend your commitment and discipline, this will be the beginning of your great progress. In you I see great leaders of the society, in business, entrepreneurship and every facets of life. May God will be with you.” Osinbajo added.
In his speech which he titled; “O’YES, From Glory to Glory”, Aregbesola stated that Youth engagement had been of paramount importance to his government.
He noted that he has fulfilled his promise despite financial challenges, adding that the O’YES program has impacted positively in the State.
According to him, “I am very happy to be at this inauguration of the fourth batch of O’YES which allows youths to be profitably gained and to be useful to the society. Youth engagement has always been of paramount importance to us same with education which is why we have given it a proportionate share of our government.
“We also started the Osun job center in 2016 which provides empowerment for thousands of youths in skill acquisition and entrepreneurship. Many cadets are now Millionaires. With this we have fulfilled our promise despite the financial problems faced.
“O’YES has impacted positively in Osun. Osun has been rated the least State in unemployment and crime rate in the country. O’YES cadets also benefit from other programmes such as O’meal, O’fish among others. They were given soft landing and moved to greater heights in life.
“O’YES is successful, it is an inclusive skill everybody stands of benefiting from irrespective of tribe, religion, Local Government Area among others and am glad the vision has caught on, World Bank has started YESSO. I thank Federal Government for the inspirational support, O’YES will continue to move as it will be continued by my successor, Isiaka Gboyega Oyeyola by the grace of God.”
The Commissioner for Engagement and Youth Employment, Mrs Mofolake Adegboyega, who gave the welcome speech, noted that since its inception, O’YES has given hope of a better future to over 60,000 youths of the State.
“The scheme afforded them the opportunity of contributing to the socio-economic development of the State. The scheme enabled them to imbibe the virtues of discipline, hardwork, dedication to duties and commitment as well as to be economically independent and viable outside the white collar jobs.
“The O’YES attracted the attention of the World bank and after thorough review, adopted it as a template for massive youth empowerment and service support operations, YESSO, aimed at ultra-poor families, especially those headed by women to provide financial support to take them out of excruciating poverty and also educate their children. The YESSO is currently in 13 states including Osun.”
Adegboyega who appreciated the initiator of the program, Ogbeni Aregbesola, added that it has attracted accolades and award to the Governor and the Government from across the world.
“It has equally endeared public private partnership in the state specifically the collaboration with the First Bank, the official bankers of the cadets and the scheme, “she added.