When the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme O’YES was launched in February 2011 by the APC administration of former Governor Rauf Aregbesola in the State of Osun, doubting thomases wondered how successful a programme that sought to create a veritable government employment for 20,000 Youths would be.
But 9 years after its launch, the scheme has not only fulfilled its mandate of providing employment for the teeming Youthful population of Osun, it has also cemented a direction of containing Youth restiveness and crime in the society.
The cadets who have increased from 20,000 to over 60,000 spanning three phases have in one way or the other used the platform for skill acquisition, career and personal development, avenue to get absorbed into full time state government among others which have liberated them from poverty.
With Osun’s poverty index the third least in Nigeria, major analysts and stakeholders have pointed to the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme O’YES as a major factor in the low level of unemployment as well as a major contributor to bridging the inequality gap between the majority and the minority (the elites).
The latest unemployment figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics show that the percentage of unemployed people in Osun is 10.1%. Without O’YES, the unprecedented feats achieved in ensuring prosperity for the mass of the people as well as one of the safest places in Nigeria and other enviable feats could not have been achieved easily.
Consolidating on this, the Adegboyega Oyetola government which seeks continuity of award-winning legacies like O’YES continues to drive more innovative methods to make the scheme more vibrant, productive and move a step higher in the social security of Ipinle Omoluabi.
As a plus to what his predecessor did, Oyetola on assumption of office increased the monthly stipend for cadets from N10,000 to N15,000. A progressive idea that further deepens the focus and creative ingenuity of making the society work and safe for the major part of the population.
The federal government of Nigeria has since taken a leap from O’YES and incorporated the scheme into its the National Social Intervention Programme N-SIP. Initiatives such as N-POWER with several subsets in tandem with the O’YES template continues to provide more jobs for Nigerians.
Even recently, Festus Keyamo, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment expressed the readiness of the federal government to take in 774,000 youths across the country in a bid to expand the N-Power initiative taken from the successes achieved and the broader vision of the visionary originator of the scheme.
OsunMediaHub today celebrates these committed, dogged and enterprising Youths of the state of the virtuous who have broke new grounds and become successful even with the little they earn.