Grooming Entrepreneurs In Osun
An empowerment programme for 500 unemployed youths was recently unveiled by Hon. Adeyinka Ajayi of Ifelodun/Boripe/Odo-Otin Federal Constituency, in conjunction with Ojenco Training Institute, to provide over 3,000 jobs for youths in the state through the garment industry.
The Federal legislator, representing Ifelodun, Boripe, and Odo-otin Federal Constituency Hon, Adeyinka Ajayi, recently started a training programme within the nine centres across the constituency. There are two centres in Boripe LGA (Iree and Ada), three centres in Ifelodun LGA (Ikirun, Eko’nde and Iba), and four centres in Odo-Otin LGA (Okuku, Inisha, Oyan and Eekosin). However, the youths are being trained in eight different courses: fashion designing, hairdressing, shoe making, barbing, event decorating, soap making, small chops catering, and tie & dye. The aim of the programme is to support and complement the effort of Governor Rauf Aregbesola to eradicate poverty in the state of Osun, particularly in the Ifelodun/ Boripe/ Odo-Otin Federal Constituency.
Ajayi is of the opinion that if youths are properly trained and empowered, they would not only be useful to themselves but also contribute meaningfully to the development of the community, State of Osun, and Nigeria in general.
Speaking at the event, which cut across the nine centres, the Senior Special Adviser to Hon. Ajayi, Mr. Gold Adedayo, said the participants across the three LGAs would benefit in no small measure to assist in their day-to-day activities and to enhance their self-reliance in all the trades involved.
According to him, all the 500 youths are to be given adequate support after the training programmes, as equipment worth over N100 million had been set aside for distribution across the three local council areas.
Adedayo also noted that the main agenda of Ajayi is to increase the economic activities in the area and to make people become employers of labour so as to assist other less-privileged ones in the training programme.
The Special Adviser however commended the youths involved in the training for their commitment and urged them to focus more on the training in order to benefit maximally during and after the programme.
Meanwhile, the Osun state government has also disclosed that it is willing to provide an enabling environment in infrastructure and security needed for thriving economic activities in the state.
The Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, stated this at a formal unveiling of the Omoluabi Garment Factory at the state capital, Osogbo. Aregbesola also noted that the establishment of the factory became necessary as part of the overall effort to transform the state.
He said the garment factory was one testimony of his administration’s investment drive and commitment to attracting investors to Osun, adding that the state has the market and the human and material resources.
According to him, the decision to give the student a common uniform was made with the aim of giving them a common identity and purpose, as well as a sense of unity and pride, which had been lost in the decay that set in public schools in Osun before his administration.
“Through this alone, we have provided job opportunities for our market women who supplied the materials for the uniform and about 3,000 tailors, who sewed them. This Omoluabi Garment Factory that we are launching today is a product of the policy to reap the economic benefits of the production of the school uniform.
“This factory will henceforth produce the school uniform here; it will employ our people here; it will buy its inputs from here, and the batik it will produce will be sewn by our tailors here. All of these, among other gains, will have numerous spin-offs that will rebound to the advantage of the people of the State of Osun. The uniform material will be sold and sewn at control prices so as to make it affordable for our people. You are not only assured of quality, you will get it at good prices,” Aregbesola said.
The governor further revealed that Omoluabi Garment is one of the factories that have been brought into existence through revitalisation of the education project. He said soon, another factory would begin the production of the e-learning tablet, Opon-Imo, and other electronic gadgets in Ilesha.
He admonished the managers of the factory to be innovative and uncompromisingly committed to quality, saying “This might appear to be a small beginning, but what I am seeing is the onset of a giant clothing industry that will take the nation and West Africa by storm in the foreseeable future.” He added that his government remains resolutely focused on the implementation of its policies, assuring listeners that the people of the state would be the better for it.
In a goodwill message, the General Manager, Operations, Bank of Industry, Mr. Joseph Babatunde, commended the governor for his visionary leadership. He said his bank provides financial supports for capacity building and the training of fashion designers whose products would not only be consumed locally but also exported abroad.
He noted that the support BoI renders was in tandem with what the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) preaches. He appealed for an expansion of the counterpart funds between government and the bank so as to be able to accommodate more trainees and reduce the population of youths roaming the streets.
Earlier in her remark, the Managing Director of Omoluabi Garment Factory, Mrs. Folake Oyemade, said with the garment factory in place there has been a drastic reduction in unemployment rate in the state. Oyemade, who is also the Managing Director of Sam and Sara, said by the end of the year, the factory would have trained over 3,000 tailors.
“Today’s ceremony is a demonstration of one of your campaign promises. You promised to make the State of Osun an industrial haven in which youths as leaders of tomorrow would be catered for in the area of skill acquisition, job creation, poverty alleviation and wealth creation. This is just the beginning of better things to come. Your second term is a foregone conclusion,” Oyemade said.
Osun state is striving to empower unemployed and restive youths and the factory and training are vital to the process. The state is thus taking giant strides to resolve one of the main problems besetting Nigeria’s development process, which is youth unemployment; a worthwhile process.