FG, Ondo Govt to Empower 1,200 Youths Annually

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Over 1, 200 youth will be empowered with life-skills annually in Ondo State as the federal government strives to halt and reverse to worrisome rate of unemployment in the country.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGs), Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire stated this at the weekend at the commissioning of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu Skill Acquisition Centre in Ile-Oluji, Ondo State.

The presidential aide noted that the Skill Acquisition Centre which was constructed and equipped by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals is designed to be a strategic tool for the economic empowerment and cater for various life-skills trainings for young men and women in the areas of Sewing, Fashion & Dressmaking Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Photography, Hair styling & Cosmetology, Barbing, Catering, Tiling & Interlocking, Automobile, Aluminium Fabrication & Welding, Plumbing etc.

“There is also provision for short term training on Bead making, Soap making, Makeup Artistry, Event Planning, Painting, Drawing, Weaving, and Shoemaking.” Princess Orelope-Adefulire stated, adding that the Centre is one of numerous centres constructed and equipped across the country.

“To achieve the cardinal objectives of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, which is to improve the economy, secure the country and to stamp out corruption in the society, our youths must be encouraged to use their hands to work for a living and to shun crime. A crime free society is the one that its youths are productively engaged. Thus, there is empirical evidence that demonstrate that, investing in youths will lead to poverty eradication, which in turn leads to social security, thereby achieving SDGs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 16, and 17 respectively.” Orelope-Adefulire stated.

Emphasising the import of the Centre to the attainment of the Global Development Agenda, the SDGs boss maintained that a man/woman that is empowered with the requisite skill set is more likely to conquer poverty, which addresses Goal 1 (No Poverty). This is directly related to Goal 2 (Zero Hunger) as he/she is more likely to be able to feed himself/herself and the family. With poverty eradicated from the family, the probability of attaining Goal 3 (Good health & Wellbeing) as well as Goal 4 (Quality Education for the children) becomes higher. The same applies to Goal 5 (Gender Equality) as empowerment of women is one of the most potent recipes for Gender Equality. In the same vein, life-skills development increases the provision of Decent Works and Economic Growth as evident in Goal 8, it promotes innovation and infrastructural development (Goal 9) as well as helps in fostering peace and justice (Goal 16).

“We have just commenced the ‘Decade of Action’ for the Global Goals. Successful implementation of the SDGs requires a ‘Whole-of-Society’ approach – involving all the key segments of the society. I am therefore convinced that, our youths, when empowered with the right skills, can transform their livelihoods and contribute meaningfully to the economy. It is based on this that Mr President is strongly supporting our cause in the SDGs, hence, our youths must not fail us, but compliment this noble gesture by engaging positively in enterprises and shun vices which destroys not only the youths, but has negative impact on the society.” She stated.

Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, who commissioned the Centre acknowledged the impact the project will have in addressing the challenges of unemployment in the State maintained that his administration will continue to work to improve Human Capital Development in the State.