The Governor of the State of Osun, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, has assured youths in the state that a significant portion of the 2021 budget will be devoted to their needs and welfare.
Oyetola, speaking during the Osun #EndSARS Aftermath Stakeholders’ engagement, said the two percent referred to in the budget presentation was just for youth entrepreneurship and skills upgrade that will focus on areas like ICT, mining, empowerment programmes, trainings, and other related areas.
Oyetola added: “It is not fair to say that we earmarked only two per cent to the youths. That does not represent the true picture. We can safely say that the youths are the predominant beneficiaries from the proposed budget which also earmarked 17 per cent to health and 18 per cent to education.
“There is also the six percent allocation to agriculture, which the youths are set to benefit tremendously from. So, I think about 50 percent of the budget impacts the youths”, Oyetola said.
Oyetola also restated his commitment to the development agenda of the State, adding that the youths are a fundamental pillar in the agenda.
He continued: “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.
“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.
“In the two years that we have been in power, our State has maintained its status as the most peaceful State in the country.
“In November last year, we convoked the Osun Economic and Investment Summit to transform and revolutionise the economy of the State. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic that stalled its immediate takeoff, the initiative has started yielding dividends.
“Last month, we performed the flag-off of two business concerns that will provide huge job opportunities for our youths: the Osun Ethanol Bio-Refinery Factory located in Ayekale, which will provide jobs for 10, 000 youths and the International Trade Centre/Industrial Hub and Inland Port, Dagbolu, which is is capable of creating massive job opportunities for Osun youths.
“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”, Oyetola added.