According to report reaching oyogist.com, Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, has revealed that the state will expand the state’s Youth Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness Project (YEAP) to enable the training of 10,000 youths by the CSS Integrated Farms Limited, Gora, Nasarawa State.
The governor made this disclosure while speaking at the graduation ceremony of the first batch of 300 trainees, held at the International Skills Acquisition Centre (ISAC), Gora.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as saying that the state was going to empower only 1,000 youths through the scheme, but that it increased the number to 3,300 at 100 per local government.
The first batch of trainees were trained by about 15 lecturers/professors across the fields of leadership in agribusiness, irrigation farming, Information/ Communication Technology application in agribusiness, fishery farming and management, hydroponics farming, cassava and rice value chain and poultry farming, among others.
The governor was given an award of recognition by the chairman, CSS Integrated Farms, Professor John Kennedy Opara, who commended the governor for being very passionate about his people.
While speaking at the graduation ceremony, Governor Makinde, who expressed satisfaction with the training, commended the trainees for being good ambassadors of Oyo State, said: “I know the importance of empowering our youths. I got into business at the age of 29 and now, I am 53. Since the age of 29, I have been paying salaries.
“That is what we want to replicate in Oyo State. Gone are those days when politicians use the youths as political thugs and then abandon them to become burdens to society. We want to empower youths in the real sense of empowerment so that you all can empower others and thereby lift Oyo State from poverty to prosperity.
“We were going to train 1,000 youths but when I got the brief and I came to Saki and saw the youths, I said we should increase that number to 3,300. That is 100 per local government.
“We have less than two years and I did my arithmetic and saw that if we are training 600 youths every month, the programme will run for about five and a half months. But with that simple arithmetic we have done, we will increase the number to 10,000.
“Now, the training will go on till the end of next year. This is where we are going. I listened to Prof. John Kennedy Opara’s analysis that if each of you can start with day-old chicks at N230 per bird and you have 1,000 birds; that is just about N240,000, which is about the money for one motorcycle.
“If you sell those birds, you can generate up to a million each in six months. If 10,000 youths can leverage this kind of advantage, that means the state can become an N100 Billion economy in a few years, in just this sphere of endeavour.”
Governor Makinde maintained that the training is the beginning, noting that the state government would support the trainees, saying: “Look, we are here to support you. We will look for markets for things you will produce.
“Go ahead and incorporate yourselves. Since we have 300 graduates here today, I should have 300 incorporated enterprises and if you are partnering, we should have many partners. The state will support you by giving you the necessary ingredients to succeed.
“I know you are the Youtube generation, send the words out there that this opportunity exists so that more youths can key into the opportunities.
“I look forward to meeting you in the fields and buying some products from you.
“I am glad that I made it here and I am equally glad that when the story of the turnaround of Oyo State is told, our names will be remembered.”