Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State on Saturday said his state has the
lowest index of unemployment in Nigeria because of the youth
engagement programmes he has instituted since coming to power in 2010.
Speaking with newsmen in Osogbo after the fitness walk organised for the newly absorbed 20,000 youths into the state Youths Empowerment Scheme (O-YES), Aregbesola said: “What you are witnessing today, the O-YES scheme, started in
2010/2011; 100 days after our inauguration and we are still running it.
“Because we are not just a conventional administration like the
previous governments, we have designed and empowered our young ones to
cater to all needs of the people.
“It is clear that no government have the capacity to employ all youths
but we have, through the O-YES scheme, created opportunities that will
engage and take the youths out of vices.
“Two-third of youths in the O-YES are either in one employment or the
other or self-employed.
“This explains the results of all surveys, political, social,
undertaken nationwide which throws up the fact that Osun has the
highest index of happiness.
“We have the lowest unemployment rate in Nigeria, as well as the 7th
largest economy in the country,” Aregbesola added.
The flag bearer of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for the Osun 2018 governorship election took part in the fitness walk.
He described the O-YES as a laudable scheme which he said he would
keep and improve on if elected governor.
He said, “the scheme has taken cumulatively, 80, 000 youths off the
streets and provided them with a platform to do something productive.
“The state is very peaceful because the youths are engaged and because
they have something to do, they are not vulnerable.
“The government is encouraging the youths through the scheme to
embrace hard work, to shun vices and also remove vulnerability.
The head of the O-YES programme, Mr Enibukun Oyewole, lauded the state
government for setting up the scheme, which has transformed the lives
of lots of youths in the state.
Oyewole said a lot of the O-YES cadets had been sent abroad for
training in various skill acquisitions, stating that a sum of N3.6
billion is expended on the scheme annually.
He said the success of the programme attracted the attention of the
World Bank, which studied it.
Oyewole said the World Bank Certified O-YES as a viable and
sustainable solution to the problem of youth unemployment in Nigeria
and consequently recommended it to the Federal Government and other
states in the country.