The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has called on the youths in the state to be innovative in whatever they are doing as young professionals.
Aregbesola made the call in commemoration of African Youths’ Day when the youths in the state under the aegis of Pro Democracy Youth paid him a courtesy visit.
1st of November of every year was set aside by the African Union (AU) as African Youth Day to address issues affecting the youth on the continent.
The theme of this year’s celebration is: “Participation and Mainstreaming as a Catalyst Towards Achieving a Demographic Dividends.”
The Governor described the day as a day to reflect on the life of the Youth in the state, the nation and Africa as a whole.
He advocated for inclusiveness and engagement of the youths in every facet of the society because of the abundance of energy deposit and huge potential they possess.
According to him, his administration has provided for the youths to participate fully in government as well as created programmes such as OYES and OYESTECH to engage unemployed youths in the state.
He also disclosed that his administration established the Osun Job Centre so as to create a data base of unemployed youth across the state, train them to be employable and employed.
He said “African Youth Day is a day to reflect on the lives of our youths across the continent.
“It offers us the opportunity to assess the lives and the activities of our youths. Our administration has provided for the youths in the state as well as cater to their needs in many ways through our policies and programmes.
“We focused and are still focusing on youths in this state. We engage them and discuss regularly on things that affect them.
“No government will neglect people of this age bracket because they are very central and critical to the society.
“That is why we provide for them to participate in one way or another in our programmes and policies.
“Why they are critical and should be engage in governance is because of the huge deposit of potential they have within their capacity to deploy to anything them do.
“All I want to advise them to do is to be creative and innovative in whatever they engage in. It is by doing things differently that they can quickly make their marks in the society.”
Aregbesola also promised that his government will continue to engage the youth while looking forward to seeing their contributions to the progress and development of the state.
Earlier in an interactive session with the governor, the youths in a presentation identified three areas, education, agriculture and youth participation in government, scoring the governor’s performance very high in these areas.
The Coordinator of Pro-Democracy Youth, Semih Adabanija, acknowledged the progress Aregbesola has made in education, agriculture and youth employment in the last six years.
Adabanija commended the governor for the turnaround in the education sector both in physical structure and the curricula.
He lauded the state-of-the-art school buildings scattered across the state, saying Osun has not experienced such a huge development in recent times.
He equally commended government policies in agriculture aimed at providing sufficient food for the state as well as exporting to other states.
“You have achieved giant strides in education and provision of infrastructure, agriculture and youth inclusiveness.
“The infrastructure dotting the nooks and crannies of the state is an eloquent testimony of your achievements in education. Not only that, your administration reviewed school fees downward in all tertiary institutions in the state.
“You have sustained the school feeding programme for the pupils of elementary schools, increased grant to schools, trained and employed more teachers. We notice all these achievements.
“You have recently intervened in the crisis in Ladoke Akintola University’s crisis as well as the Osun State College of Education, Ila-Orangun.”
Adabanija also highlighted the youth engagement policies of the government such as OYES, which has employed 40, 000 youth and OYESTech which has empowered several thousand others.