Youth Empowerment: Makinde reiterates his commitment to bringing Oyo out of poverty and into prosperity…
Makinde reiterates his commitment to lifting Oyo out of poverty and into prosperity.
The number of agribusiness trainees has been increased to 10,000.
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has reiterated his commitment to turning the state’s fortunes around by expanding the state’s Youth Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness Project (YEAP) to enable the training of 10,000 youths by the CSS Integrated Farms Limited, Gora, Nasarawa State.
The governor made the announcement during a speech at the graduation ceremony for the first batch of 300 trainees at the International Skills Acquisition Centre (ISAC) in Gora.
He stated that his administration has begun training to lift youths out of poverty and into prosperity, and that the government is determined to empower Oyo State youths so that they can empower others.
According to a statement issued by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Taiwo Adisa, the governor stated that the state intended to empower only 1,000 youths through the scheme, but that the number was increased to 3,300 at 100 per local government.
However, he stated that because of the program’s richness and capacity to transform Oyo State’s economy into a multi-billion Naira economy through agribusiness graduates, the government will now train 10,000 youths in agribusiness.
About 15 lecturers/professors trained the first batch of trainees in areas such as agribusiness leadership, irrigation farming, information/communication technology application in agribusiness, fishery farming and management, hydroponics farming, cassava and rice value chain, and poultry farming, among others.
Professor John Kennedy Opara, chairman of CSS Integrated Farms, presented the governor with a recognition award and praised him for his dedication to his people.
He encouraged the trainees to return to Oyo State and make a difference, noting that in order to make the governor and the people of the state proud, they must return with a determination to increase yields in various areas.
Governor Makinde, who expressed satisfaction with the training and commended the trainees for being good ambassadors of Oyo State, said at the graduation ceremony: “I know the importance of empowering our youths.” I started in business when I was 29 years old and am now 53 years old. I’ve been paying salaries since I was 29.”
“That is what we hope to achieve in Oyo State. Politicians no longer use youths as political thugs and then abandon them to become burdens on society. We want to empower youths in the true sense of the word, so that you can all empower others and lift Oyo State out of poverty.
“We were going to train 1,000 youths, but after receiving the brief and visiting Saki and seeing the youths, I suggested we increase that number to 3,300. This equates to one hundred dollars per local government.
“We have less than two years, and I did the math and discovered that if we train 600 youths per month, the program will last about five and a half months. However, with that simple arithmetic, we will increase the number to 10,000.
“The training will now continue until the end of next year. This is where we’re heading. I listened to Prof. John Kennedy Opara’s analysis that if each of you can start with day-old chicks at N230 per bird and have 1,000 birds, that is about N240,000, which is about the price of one motorcycle.
“If you sell those birds, you could make up to a million dollars each in six months. If 10,000 young people can take advantage of this opportunity, the state could become a N100 billion economy in just a few years.”
Governor Makinde insisted that the training was only the beginning, adding that the state government would assist the trainees, saying, “Look, we are here to assist you.” We’ll look for markets for the products you’ll be making.
“Go ahead and include yourself. Since we have 300 graduates here today, I should have 300 incorporated businesses, and if you are partnering, we should have a large number of partners. The government will assist you by providing you with the necessary resources.
“I know you are the YouTube generation; please spread the word about this opportunity so that more young people can take advantage of it.
“I am looking forward to meeting you in the fields and purchasing some of your products.”
I’m glad I made it here, and I’m even more glad that when the story of Oyo State’s turnaround is told, our names will be remembered.”
Earlier, Dr Debo Akande, the YEAP Coordinator and Director-General of the Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA), stated that the training is a fantastic opportunity for young people to make a difference.
He insisted that the Makinde administration had planted the seeds of greatness in the state, praising the governor for his decision to increase the number of trainees in the project.
Akande, who praised Governor Makinde’s initiative on COVID-19 Food Security Support, in which farmers were given improved seedlings, said the initiative had a positive impact because cassava prices in Oyo State had dropped by half.
He added that the training is a starting point for the trainees, noting that the governor has provided everything needed for the enterprises.
“Within the next week, you will know what business you will start. Your training was fully funded by the state government, but we have a facility with Fidelity Bank that will allow you to start well, perform well, and move up the ladder with other support,” he said.
The OYSADA boss praised CSS for doing an excellent job with the first batch of trainees and encouraged the organization to keep up the good work.
In their remarks, two of the trainees, Ojekunle Edward Oluwasogo and Ogundiran Omosalewa, thanked Governor Makinde for the opportunity and promised to return to the state to make an immediate impact.
“I appreciate Governor Seyi Makinde for the opportunity,” Ogundiran said. He has been doing incredible things in Oyo State that we have never seen before.
“Our internal revenue used to be N1.2 billion, but the governor increased it to around N3.6 billion.
“Our politicians used to empower youths with okada, but Governor Makinde brought us here to receive world-class training in various areas of agriculture and agribusiness.
“We assure His Excellency that when we return to Oyo State, we will make an impact and begin to contribute to the state’s growing IGR.”