Gbenga Sodeinde in Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji, has disclosed that all arrangement was set to provide 12,000 jobs for young people in Ekiti in a bid to fostering economic growth and prosperity.
Oyebanji made the disclosure yesterday when he presented before the State House of Assembly his account of stewardship, otherwise known as ‘State of the State Address’s in the last one year in office.
According to him, “We have secured the approval of Ekiti Knowledge Zone as a Free Trade Zone. With this, the zone is now ready to play its pioneering role as the leading knowledge- based economic zone.
“It is anticipated that this initiative will provide over 12,000 jobs for young people in Ekiti, fostering economic growth and prosperity. We expect more exciting updates on EKZ in our second year, including the formal flag-off of the zone’s construction.”
The governor said the state was also leveraging the Innovation Grant Facility of the World Bank’s Innovation Development and Effectiveness in Acquisition of Skill (IDEAS) to increase access to digital economic participation by the people.
According to him, the Initiative, has been launched to foster innovation and skill acquisition, adding that, “Conditional grants have also been disbursed to support IT enhancement, with credit/matching grants, and operational support grants.
“This initiative encourages entrepreneurship and innovation. Also, in partnership with UK KTN, we recently empowered digital innovators with £6,000. These partnerships create opportunities for tech-savvy individuals to develop and expand their innovative projects.”
On workers’ welfare, he disclosed that his administration had paid all deductions since it came on board barely a year ago.
“As for the welfare of our workers, we have kept to our promises. We are not owing any salaries and we have paid all deductions since we came on board. So far, we have paid over N10,210,792,973.88 as monthly pension while a total sum of N385,000,000.00 has been paid as gratuity at the local government level and N700 million as gratuities to State’s pensioners.
“I have also approved another sum of N500 million to be paid any moment from now for State’s pensioners. We have also made the sum of N288,300,000.00 available as car loans to the State public service and N267.07 million as housing loans to 1,901 beneficiaries,” he said.