By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
Osun State Government has launched Public Workfare and Special Grant Transfer programmes under the Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO).
The two programmes are aimed at providing immediate labour intensive work opportunities for indigent unskilled youths and provide life-sustaining assistance for the aged and persons with disabilities respectively in the state.
Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, at the launch in Osogbo on Friday, presented a cheque of over N2billion to 25,907 indigent and vulnerable citizens.
He disclosed that the programmes are in tandem with the administration’s resolve to improve on the state’s extant social investment policy and its vision to give adequate attention to the welfare of the aged and people with disabilities across the state.
He noted that the Public workfare programme will not only enhance the capacity of participating unemployed youths but also create and improve basic social and economic infrastructure in the state, adding that the programme “has taken over 10,000 vulnerable youths away from roaming the street and are participating in productive service and earning monthly stipends.”
The governor said that the Public Workfare will also increase the income and consumption capacities of young participants and their households, up effective demand in local markets, and increase household assets ownership, savings, and investments.
“Since inception, the Public Workfare component of YESSO has resulted in an increase income and consumption of the young participants and their households and more importantly, active participation of these selected unskilled and unemployed youths in this programme has reduced youth restiveness and other social vices in our society,” he added.
On the Special Grant Transfer, Oyetola said it was “due to our active performance in fighting the scourge of unemployment among our youths, the World Bank gave the State the opportunity to participate in Special Grant Transfer; a programme designed for persons with disabilities and the aged to avail them the opportunity for enhanced consumption and improved health system.”
While commending the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for its efforts at reducing unemployment especially among the youths through YESSO, Oyetola called on well-meaning Nigerians to join hands with government at all levels in the fight against unemployment in Nigeria so as to build a virile nation where peace and progress will thrive.
“As a front-runner in Social Protection Policy and Practice in the country, the programme we are inaugurating today is just the beginning of the numerous social interventions we are engaging in to make life better for our people”, the governor declared.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Special Needs, Lawal Azeez, commended the social protection programmes of President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Oyetola.
He lauded the efforts of the state government in taking the masses out of the scourge of poverty, hunger, unemployment and other societal vices.
In his remarks, the Head of Unit, Osun Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) Public Workfare and Special Grant Transfer, Mrs. Funmilayo Oladosu, enjoined the beneficiaries to be more active and productively invest their stipends so they can become better persons at the end of the programme.
Also, the Osun YESSO Coordinator, Mr. Olabanji Hammed, applauded the efforts of the state government for always putting smile on the faces of the citizens regardless of their socioeconomic status.
In their separate remarks, some of the beneficiaries commended the administration of Governor Oyetola for prioritising the people’s welfare and for improving their standard of living in the state.