By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
Osun State Governor, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola, on Wednesday reiterated his administration’s commitment to revamping the State economy through youth empowerment, engagement and development.
Declaring open a one-day interactive forum on youth development tagged “Osun #EndSARS aftermath stakeholders engagement,” held in Osogbo, he stressed that his administration would leave no stone unturned to properly harness the potential of the youth for rapid economic gains.
The governor, who described the youth as the hope and future of the nation, said the administration has designed workable Development Agenda which accords the youth a special priority.
He reeled out some of the youths’ intervention programmes already initiated by his administration, just as he explained that the newly- inaugurated Osun Ethanol Bio-Refinery Factory located in Ayekale, Iragbiji, would employ over 10,000 youths at the beginning of the operation.
The Governor further disclosed that the ongoing project of the International Trade Centre/Industrial Hub and Inland Port, Dagbolu was capable of creating massive job opportunities for Osun youths.
“The people, including the youth, are the reason we are in government. Our Administration came into office on the shoulders of Development Agenda, a programme carefully created to bring all the sectors and the people into the development net, and to build on the foundation laid by our predecessors to take Osun to higher heights.
“On the part of government, we have developed a Youth Policy christened the 4 E’s: Youth Empowerment, Youth Engagement, Youth Entrepreneurship and Youth Education. At our Exco meeting two days ago, we ratified the policy document. We shall be unveiling it soon.
“The #EndSARS protest has certainly awoken our youths to their civic power. As stakeholders, we owe it a duty to convert that power to positive advantage. We are working assiduously to urgently fashion out ways of not only catering for the interest of our young people in governance but also ensuring their active inclusion in the development process.
“Aforementioned are the efforts we have made and are still making to transform the economy of the State, create jobs for the people and the youths and ensure the good life for all and sundry,” he added.
Oyetola who expressed displeasure at the hijacking of the peaceful protest by the unscrupulous elements, urged the residents particularly the major stakeholders, including the traditional rulers, civil society organisations, students, market women, artisans, professionals among others, to join the government in its efforts at maintaining and sustaining the status of Osun as the most peaceful state in Nigeria.
Participants at the stakeholders’ meeting include the youth organisations in the State, traditional rulers, members of the civil society organisations, market/traders associations, transporters, religious leaders, academic communities, heads of tertiary institutions, labour union leaders, student community, members of the media, members of the State House of Assembly, ALGON executives, security agents and opinion leaders among others.