Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, has launched Osun Youth Policy Document to develop, empower the younger generations and put them at the centre of the development of the state.
He explained that the newly-unveiled policy document which has four components 4Es—Youth Empowerment, Youth Engagement, Youth Entrepreneurship, and Youth Education was developed to provide a crucial framework for guiding the state’s approach to ensuring that large number of youths residing in Osun are provided with high quality of life.
Launching the policy document yesterday at the Aurora Event Centre, Osogbo, Oyetola said that his administration has enunciated a clear policy framework to ensure that an enabling environment was created for the youths to maximally realise their creative and productive potential.
He said that the Osun youth policy contains commitment by government, the youth of the state, and the society in pursuance of development and growth of younger generations.
“As captured in the policy, youth development is holistic and integrated, requiring the support and active involvement of all relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), Youth Organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations, and the Public Sector, Private Sector and Philanthropists.”
Oyetola who described youths as the most productive, efficient, and energetic segment of the population, said that his administration has invested tremendously in them as part of efforts to build a virile and sustainable economy and ensure all-around growth and development.
According to him, youths were part of the reasons the administration came to power, hence, the careful crafting of Osun development agenda to bring all the sectors and the people into the development net.
He said that his administration has been engaging youths productively as loans ranging from N500,000 to N2, 500,000 were facilitated for 4,650 people, and that efforts were on to increase the number of the beneficiaries.
Oyetola added that the unveiling of the youth policy document was to further demonstrate his administration’s commitment to youth development, saying government remains resolute to continuously engage in research and monitoring while deploying an effective evaluation template to constantly enrich the initiative and ensure proper and sustainable implementation of the policy.
“Youth is a critical stage in the life cycle of human beings because of the admixture of high energy, enthusiasm, insecurities, idealism, confusion, and challenges that characterise this unique life stage.
“Youths are the hope of our nation and our state. They are the face and engine of any meaningful sustainable development. Unfortunately, in our clime, social norms and practices often exclude them from participating in critical decision-making pertaining to their lives and activities with dire consequences.
“Conscious of this misnomer and intent on correcting it to harness the bundle of energy that characterises youth, our government has in recent times focused its attention on the youth, while designing programmes and projects that impact on youth empowerment, employment, and social justice.
“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.
“Within two years after coming into office, we have delivered adequate and quality services, projects and programmes across the state in a manner that will sustain the peace in the state, transform the economy, industrialise the state, provide jobs for the people, especially the youth, and provide security and welfare for the people. We are also determined to use sports as a vehicle for encouraging school enrolment and retention and talent identification, just as we intend using it to create opportunities for young people in our rural communities.
“Only two days ago, the State Executive Council gave approval for the commencement of Osun Sports Festival. The first edition will commence in June this year. The unveiling of the Osun Youth Policy Document today is to further demonstrate our Administration’s commitment to youth development. I, therefore, recommend the document to all levels of government for accelerated implementation as the roles of all stakeholders are clearly spelt out.
“I want to also assure all the youth in the state that this new State Youth Policy vividly captures workable strategies for achieving the Youth Development Plan of the present administration and we will do all that is necessary to ensure that, in collaboration with other Stakeholders, the lofty intention of the Policy is made a reality for our teeming youths,” he added.
Earlier in his remarks, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Hon. Yemi Lawal, said that the newly- launched Youth policy document would serve as a veritable tool towards the actualisation of the lofty programmes of the Administration to guarantee a better future for the youth.
Lawal who described the document as the first in the history of the State expressed confidence in its significance to redefine the socio-economic fortune of the young ones and by extension make life more meaningful and worthwhile for them.
He said that the document came into being after various stakeholders meetings with members carefully drawn from relevant MDAs; the leadership of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Osun State Chapter; Representatives of both State and National Youth Parliaments; Political Youth Leaders; Student Bodies, as well as the officials of the Ministry of Youth and Sports to work on the production of the Document so as to have a guide that will be acceptable to all.
The Youth and Sports Commissioner further stated, “there is the need to protect the present life of these young persons in order to safeguard their future. With this in mind in mind, the Government of Osun has been striving to ensure that the youth of the State are given various opportunities through education and empowerment programmes at all levels.
“The state government had worked out this document that would serve as policy direction for the entire youths. I commend the strong desire of the present administration in the State under the leadership of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola who seeks to improve the socio-economic and general well-being of the young people in the State.”
In their separate remarks, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Akanbi, and the Orangun of Oke-Ila, Oba Abolarinwa Odedokun, urged Nigerian youths to take their destinies into their own hands.
The monarchs who commended the governor on the lofty initiative expressed the hope that the document would go a long way to address the challenges confronting the youth in the state in particular and the nation at large.
Earlier, the Speaker, Osun House of Assembly, Hon. Timothy Owoeye, attributed the conceptualisation and unveiling of the policy to the positive manifestation of the ‘all inclusiveness’ posture of the Oyetola administration.
Timothy noted that the policy would further create opportunity for the youths to be more productive and fully engaged in things that would bring about socioeconomic values to their lives.