BusinessDay
NigeriaDecides2023

Youth Empowerment: Makinde restates commitment towards lifting Oyo from poverty to prosperity

The Oyo state government has restates its commitment to turn the fortune of the state around through the expansion of its Youth Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness Project (YEAP) to enable the training 10,000 youths by the CSS Integrated Farms Limited, Gora- Nasarawa state.

The first batch of 300 trainees, held at the International Skills Acquisition Centre (ISAC), Gora graduated last week and were trained by about 15 lecturers/professors across the fields of leadership in agribusiness, irrigation farming, Information/communication technology application in agribusiness, fishery farming and management, hydroponics farming, cassava and rice value chain and poultry farming, among others.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Governor Seyi Makinde noted that his administration has embarked on the training in order to lift youths from poverty into prosperity, stating that the government is determined to empower Oyo state youths so that they can empower others.

The governor said that the state was going to empower only 1,000 youths through the scheme, but that it increased the number to 3,300 at 100 per local government.

Read also: African Students Union Parliament collaborates with Oyo Govt to curb drug abuse

He noted, however, that following the richness of the programme and its capacity to turn the economy of Oyo State into a multi-billion Naira economy through agribusiness graduates, government will now go ahead to train 10,000 youths in agribusiness.

The governor was given an award of recognition by John Kennedy Opara, a professor and chairman CSS Integrated Farms, who commended the governor for being very passionate about his people.

He encouraged the trainees to return to Oyo State and make a difference, noting that to make the governor and the people of the state proud, they must return with the drive to achieve increased yields in different areas.

Makinde, who expressed satisfaction with the training, commended the trainees for being good ambassadors of Oyo state, said: “I know the importance of empowering our youths. I got into business at the age of 29 and now, I am 53. Since the age of 29, I have been paying salaries.”

“That is what we want to replicate in Oyo. Gone are those days when politicians use the youths as political thugs and then abandon them to become burdens to society.

“We want to empower youths in the real sense of empowerment so that you all can empower others and thereby lift Oyo State from poverty to prosperity.”

“We have less than two years and I did my arithmetic and saw that if we are training 600 youths every month, the programme will run for about five and a half months. But with that simple arithmetic we have done, we will increase the number to 10,000.

“Now, the training will go on till the end of next year. This is where we are going. I listened to Prof. Opara’s analysis that if each of you can start with day-old chicks at N230 per bird and you have 1,000 birds; that is just about N240,000, which is about the money for one motorcycle.

He noted that if the birds were sold, the individual can generate up to a million each in six months, adding that if 10,000 youths can leverage this kind of advantage, it means the state can become a N100 billion economy in a few years, in just this sphere of endeavour.

Governor Makinde maintained that the training is the beginning, noting that the state government would support the trainees, saying: “Look, we are here to support you. We will look for markets for things you will produce.

“Go ahead and incorporate yourselves. Since we have 300 graduates here today, I should have 300 incorporated enterprises and if you are partnering, we should have many partners. The state will support you by giving you the necessary ingredients to succeed.”

“I know you are the Youtube generation, send the words out there that this opportunity exists so that more youths can key into the opportunities. I look forward to meeting you in the fields and buying some products from you,” he said.

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