Osun State government’s efforts on youth empowerment have received a boost, as it has been earmarked to benefit from the N50 billion World Bank/ Federal Government Youth Employment Fund.
This was disclosed by the sector leader of the bank on Human Development and Task Leader on Youths Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) on the bank’s assessment of OYES, Professor Foluso Okunmadewa after assessing the corps at their various duty points in Olorunda, Osogbo and Ayedaade Local Government Council Areas of the state.
He disclosed that the state government has achieved a milestone in the area of engaging youths into community development and the World Bank is looking into areas to help the government expand the scope of the scheme.
According to him, this is the third time we are coming to the state to assess the scheme and so far, we have discovered that the government is showing other states in the country how to get their youths gainfully engaged.
“From our past interactions with the officials of the scheme, we discovered that the scheme is getting the beneficiaries involved in community responsibility and this time, we are seeking the response of the corps members, so as to understand it more and help the state build upon the success it has achieved”, he added.
He further stated that with the youth employment model in the state, the World Bank would partner with government and called on other states to emulate the Osun State scheme, to make their teeming unemployed youths useful.
The six-man team toured about four council areas in the state, where they interacted with the corps members on their areas of specialties and areas where the scheme needs improvement, which according to them is to ensure its sustainability and durability.
In his assessment, Yasser El-Gammal observed that the scheme has the potential to be the best on the continent; he stated that what the government is doing has endeared the financial institution to the state.
“The World Bank is here to assess what the state government is doing and complement its effort by improving and helping to expand the project. We are impressed with what we see and believe it is a laudable programme on the part of the government”, he added.
The leader of the state government’s team, Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Special Needs, Mr. Stephen Kola-Balogun stated that the state administration has not relented in its effort to give the youths of the state the best welfare programme, saying government is aware of the tremendous challenges ahead and would tackle them appropriately.
He maintained that the state governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola is passionate about the plights of the youths in the state, adding that youths would be the beneficiaries of the various transformational policies of the government.
“Now, through OYES, the state economy is reaping about N200 million monthly and the moment about 6,000 of the corps members are absorbed into the state teaching service, 6,000 others would be enrolled into the scheme, meaning more hands would be engaged soon”, added the commissioner.
In his own contribution, the chairman of OYES Implementation Group, Barrister Femi Ifaturoti revealed that the scheme is not only about engaging the youths, but also a platform for human capacity building for the teeming unemployed youths in the state.
He disclosed further that other states in the country are coming to learn from the state on how to emulate the initiative, with a view to reducing youth unemployment in their various states.
Others members in the six-man World Bank team included Joy Medani, Dr. Olatunde Adekola, Dr. Sulaiman Yusuf and Dr. Aminu Alarudeen.
Also, in the state government team were Mr. Omotunde Young; Assistant Director, Community Forum, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Mr. Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, OYES Commandant, Colonel (rtd) Eni-Ibukun Oyewole and Mr. Gbenga Odulaja.