Youth Empowerment: Makinde Renews Pledge To Lift Oyo State Out Of Poverty

Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Saturday renewed his pledge to lift the state out of poverty. Makinde gave assurance, while addressing the first 300 graduating trainees of the Youth Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness Project of Oyo state, at the CSS integrated farms, Abuja.

The Governor stressed the need to empower more youths in the country, as it was one of the most sustainable methods to create wealth and boost the economy. ”

I know the importance of empowering the youth and I joined the league of entrepreneurs since 29 and at 53, I pay salaries to countless people. “That is what we want to replicate in Oyo State. Gone are the days when politicians use the youths as political thugs and abandon them to become burdens to society. ”

We want to empower youths in the real sense of empowerment so that this can lift our State from poverty to wealth,” he said.

Makinde disclosed that the project was expected to cater for 1,000 youths, but the number increased to 3,300, at 100 per local government, after 29,200 people applied for it.

He noted 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, government would  go ahead to train more 10,000 youths.

Makinde reassured the graduating trainees of the unwavering support of the state government in their various agribusiness ventures. He promised to start-up loans and patronise their businesses. ”

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The first batch of trainees were trained across various aspects of agribusiness:  irrigation farming, machinery, Information and Communication Technology, hydroponics farming, cassava and rice value chain, poultry farming and cattle rearing.

The former Executive Secretary, Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, Dr John-Kennedy Opara, urged the trainees to return to Oyo state and put all they have learnt into practice.

Opara, who is the chairman of CSS Farms, said that they should  ensure maximum use of the entrepreneurship training in their Agribusiness projects. ”

You must go home and say “we came, we conquered. Choose your vision whether it is fishery, cattle rearing or vegetable production, and develop it,”he said.

Opara further emphasised the need for more hands in Agribusiness, saying that “Nigeria’s cassava production alone makes up 19 per cent of the world’s cassava consumption.”

The Director General, Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency, Dr Debo Akande, said the trainees would be incorporated into diverse agribusiness. “

They have been profiled for different agribusiness enterprises and each one of them will be supported by technical teams from the state, including diverse researchers. “The sustainability plan is that they are going to have their own businesses.

There is a loan, whereby a percentage of it will be Grant from the state, but majority of it is loans. “So they are working in their business as any other entrepreneur do,” he said.  Mr Folarin Omotola, a trainee, described the exercise as an eye opener. “

We have been introduced to machinery that would improve our productivity in agriculture. “Before coming here I used to do fishery in a small way. This experience has shown me different ways to improve my fish business,” he said.

Ms Dorcas Temitayo, another trainee said she  planned to begin her own  cassava production, She commended Makinde for the opportunity provided to the youths, promising to return to the State to make immediate impact.(NAN)


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