By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
As part of its efforts to cushion the socio-economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the State, Osun State Government has unveiled plans to generate 15,000 jobs annually through the advancement of vocational and technical trainings.
The Commissioner for Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Empowerment, Dr. Bode Olaonipekun, disclosed these shortly after a technical meeting he held with the leadership of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) and the management of the Industrial Development Centre, in Osogbo.
This is even as the training consultant, Mr. Bolaji Jegede, assured the people of the state of his readiness to equip the participants with relevant skills that would make them to be self-employed.
He said: “We will be partnering with the state government to conduct the training ranging from skills acquisition on entrepreneurship training and indeed organising grants and soft loans for the participants.
“We are already discussing with international donor partners to ensure the success of the programme since the essence of the programme is to ensure that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic which is seeing people losing their jobs are reduced,” the training consultant added.
The commissioner said, “This is a post-pandemic initiative to revive the economy and we are here particularly to address one of the focal areas of this administration – to rejuvenate the economy and empower the citizens.
“The Governor deemed it fit to put a post pandemic strategy in place in which people who have lost their jobs or whose businesses had been badly affected due to the pandemic would have something like a spring board to aid their rise.
“We have put in place certain training programmes by which within one to three months, a person would have learnt a vocation that he can live on and that can sustain him for a lifetime, even without any monthly salaries.
“To achieve this, the state government has some managed funds through the Bank of Industry to support the graduands after the training. Putting all of these together would help our youths, particularly those that are affected by the pandemic, to begin a new life”, he added.
The Southwest Zonal Coordinator of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), Mr. Gbenga Ogundeji, acknowledged the commitment of the state government to empower the people of the state.