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Oyo partners NDE on youth, women empowerment

Oyo State Government is partnering National Directorate of Employment (NDE) towards creating opportunities for self-employment and employability of the teeming unemployed persons in the state.

The partnership was recently sealed with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the State Government and the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), represented by Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo, the director-general.

Idowu Ogedengbe, executive assistant on Administration to Governor Seyi Makinde, who represented the governor at the MoU signing, said the state has worked with the NDE on some projects to provide increased opportunities for youth employment and social service delivery and to harmonise the implementation of social protection interventions in the country.

According to Ogedengbe, Oyo State government considers the NDE, the lead Federal Government-established agency for manpower development, as a critical partner towards creating opportunities for self-employment and employability of the teeming unemployed persons by means of appropriate skilling and training.

“Over the years, we have had the opportunity to work with the NDE on some projects, especially under the Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO), a World Bank-assisted Project.

“The YESSO project was meant to provide increased opportunities for youth employment and social service delivery and harmonise the implementation of social protection interventions in the country”, he said.

He added that as parts of measures to reduce youth unemployment in the state, the Makinde administration has embarked on mass recruitment of youths into the Teaching Service Commission and the Civil Service as well as initiating the Youth Entrepreneurship in agribusiness programme.

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“On our part, we have provided some interventions by recruiting workers into the Post-Primary Teaching and the Civil Services. We have also embarked on the Youth Entrepreneurs in agribusiness project that will see about 10,000 young people trained and empowered to become modern agribusiness entrepreneurs.

“While we commend the idea behind this partnership, it is important to note that we live in a rapidly changing global economy, which demands new ideas and skills to remain competitive. New technologies, processes and opportunities are being introduced constantly. What this means is that the kind of skills and training being provided by governments and development agencies must be reflective of the realities in the employment markets and the workplace environments.

“As our nation is developing and catching up with other leading economies in the world, new industries are emerging thereby leading the way towards the creation of new jobs that haven’t existed before.

“While we believe that appropriate measures are being made towards reviewing the present academic curriculum in our higher institutions of learning and technical schools, there is the need to equally devise ways of skilling and training a large number of graduates and school leavers in order to take advantage of the emerging trends in the primary and secondary sectors of the labour market.

“As we commence this partnership, our desire is to rapidly see to the reduction of unemployment among our youths and women both within the formal and informal sectors of our State.

“We must not only focus on skilling and training, but we must also endeavour to provide mentoring and monitoring for those under our various programmes in order to ensure that the whole essence and objective of this partnership is achieved.

“We need to deploy effective business development services towards ensuring success for our programme beneficiaries.

“It is important that we also work closely with a view to facilitating access to capital for successfully trained entrepreneurs. Our State Assembly is at the final stages of passing the Oyo State Enterprise and Employment Trust Fund in this regard,” Ogedengbe concluded.

Earlier, Fikpo, director-general, NDE, said the signing of the MoU indicated Governor Makinde’s commitment and desire to explore good avenues for creating decent job opportunities for unemployed youths in Oyo State.

According to him, “Your Excellency, the approval granted to us to visit your exalted office is a pointer to your commitment and desire to explore good avenues for creating decent job opportunities for the teeming unemployed youths in Oyo State. The NDE is honoured for this glorious moment.

“We are here for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Oyo State Government and the NDE for collaboration in the areas of skills training and other empowerment initiatives.

“In Oyo State, some of the regular programmes/schemes being implemented include; Basic National Open Apprenticeship Scheme (B-NOAS); Basic National Open Apprenticeship (NOA); Subool On Wheels (SOW); Skill Acquisition Training For Persons with Special Needs; Entrepreneur Development Program (EDP); Woman Employment and Income Generating Activities; Women Employment Collaboration Scheme (WECS); Graduate Attachment Programme (GAP); Graduate Coaching Scheme (GCS); Renewable Energy Training Scheme (RETS); Youth Employment and Social Support Operations & Skills for Jobs (YESSO & $4)), in collaboration with the World Bank, and so on.

“It may interest His Excellency to note that in the year 2008 when the NDE management decided to establish its own vocational skills acquisition training centres, Oyo State was among the benefiting states.

“The centres in the state are located at Apanpa, Ibadan North Local Government, Ibadan South-East Local Government, Mapo and Onipanu in Ogbomoso.

“The NDE management is determined to retool and upgrade the training facilities in order to meet the quests of youths and woman for skills and economic self-reliance.

“In addition to the implementation of its regular programmes schemes, the directorate is consciously aware that the task of meeting the desire of our youths for decent jobs requires a synergy of collaborative initiatives among relevant stakeholders.

“It is my conviction that the partnership will be a shining example for other state governments across the federation.”

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