THE Oyo State Government has signed two Memorandum of Understanding to engage youths in the state productively in the area of empowerment and agriculture.
The first memorandum was signed with the Organized Private Sector (OPS) on Skills for job component for 190 Youth Empowerment and Social Support Operations (YESSO) beneficiaries and the second MOU is with Hills Harvest Limited on the promotion of fruits and vegetable businesses to reduce post harvest loss on the part of farmers.
The state Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr Yomi Oke explained on Thursday at the signing on the MOU that it is part of the prerequisite for any participating state under the scheme, adding that this is to ensure smooth implementation and sustainability of the operation.
The YESSO programme was designed in close partnership between the federal government and some states in Nigeria including Oyo State with support operation from the World Bank to boost Nigeria’s commitment to poverty reduction by permitting the poor people of the country access increased opportunities for youth employment and social service delivery.
Oke admonished the OPS members to expose the beneficiaries to training that would allow them compete favourably in the local market and self-reliance, assuring that the state government will adhere strictly to the content of the MOU.
Also speaking, the State Commissioner for Finance and Budget, Mr Abimbola Adekanmbi, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr David Olatunde, assured the gathering of prompt release of fund for the programme, noting that it has been included in the current year budget estimate.
In his address, the Director General of National Directorate of Employment (NDA) Dr Nasir Ladan, who was represented by the South West Zonal Director, Mrs Safar Adeola encouraged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the opportunity given them to learn
The representatives of Ibadan Chambers of Commerce, Trades Men and Artisans of Nigeria Association and the Nigeria Association of Small and Medium Enterprise, Messsrs Sola Abodunrin, Tajudeen Isola and Tunji Aleem charged the beneficiaries to project themselves as good trainees, promising that they will adequately be exposed to the necessary training they deserve.
At the signing of the MOU with Hills Harvest Limited recently, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, Prince Oyewole Oyewumi said that the deal signed with the agricultural marketing firm was aimed at preserving perishable produce with limited life span and increase income generation for the farmers.
Oyewole stressed further that the partnership would afford farmers the opportunity to acquire skills that would assist them in producing standard produce suitable for exportation, hinting that cold ware houses will be built in agricultural zones of the state and managed under Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement with a view to reducing post harvest loss to minimal percent.
The commissioner reiterated the commitment of Oyo State Government in making Agriculture a profitable business for all and sundry, saying that the government is on the verge of expanding the dams in the state to make irrigation farming convenient and profitable for concerned farmers.
In his remarks, the Managing Director, Hills Harvest Limited, Deji Rotimi assured farmers in the state of mutually benefited arrangements by receiving their produce at profitable rates, adding that ware houses will be built based on climatic condition of each agricultural zones of the state to prevent spoilage and make the produce presentable at the global market.