The Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola has disclosed that as a result of the prevailing circumstances in Nigeria, social norms and practices often exclude the youths from participating in critical decision making pertaining to their lives and activities, with attendant dire consequences.
He also disclosed that his administration, being conscious of the misnomer and bent on correcting it, has focused its attention on the youth and have designed programmes and projects that impact on youth empowerment, employment and social justice.
The governor stated this while delivering his keynote address at the launching of the Osun Youth Policy Document in Osogbo, the state capital, on Wednesday.
Oyetola, who noted that youth is a critical stage in the life cycle of human beings, revealed that his administration has developed a youth policy, christened the 4 Es.
These policies according to him include, youth empowerment, youth engagement, youth entrepreneurship and youth education.
He explained that the policy provides a crucial framework for guiding the state’s approach to ensure that large numbers of youths residing in the state are provided with high quality of life.
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In his words, “As captured in the policy, youth development is holistic and integrated, requiring the support and active involvement of all relevant ministries, departments and agencies, youth organisations, non-governmental organisations and the public sector, private sector and philanthropists.
“We shall engage in research and monitoring while deploying effective evaluation templates to constantly enrich the initiative and to ensure proper and sustainable implementation of the policy.”
He assured the youths that the youth policy would vividly capture workable strategies for achieving the youth development plan of his administration and do everything necessary to ensure the intention of the policy is made a reality for the youths.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Osun State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Azeez Olayemi Lawal has stated that there was a need to protect the lives of youths and safeguard their future through achievable youth policies.
In this regard, the state government has worked out a youth policy document in conjunction with relevant stakeholders.
The Commissioner also explained that the state government has ensured that this is achieved through various opportunities which includes education, youth development and empowerment programmes at all levels.
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According to him, “In view of the great value placed in the youth of this state, the state government has worked out a workable youth policy that will serve as a policy direction for the entire youth in the state.
“As a result of which necessitates various stakeholders meetings with members carefully drawn from relevant MDAs, leadership of the Osun State Chapter, National Youth Council of Nigeria, youth parliament, political youth leaders, students bodies as well as officials of the ministry of Youths and Sports to work on the production of the youth policy document so as to have a guide that will be acceptable to all.”
Lawal noted that the occasion was another giant stride in youth development in the state as the youthful period is a time of experimental growth adding that the youth policy document was the first of its kind in the state.
The Commissioner in commending the roles played by the stakeholders in the formulation and compiling of the youth policy document also acknowledged past political office holders and top civil servants for conceiving the idea.
In his goodwill message, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, challenged the youths not to resort to violence as a means of effecting the desired change.
He advocated a change of the status quo and support of the present administration as a means of achieving peace in the country.
He described the agitations for the Yoruba Nation as unpatriotic and accused the leaders of collecting money from foreign interests to destabilise the country.
Oba Abdulrosheed called on the state’s civil servants and youths to be good ambassadors and embrace hard work as a means of securing their future.
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