By; Niyi Ogungbola, Abeokuta.
In its bid to reduce unemployment, the Ogun State Government has called on youths to participate in agriculture as it was more effective in eradicating poverty with limitless capacities for employment and wealth creation.
The State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun made this call at the on- going 2-day Youth Convention tagged “Ogun Youth: Exploring New Frontiers” holding at the Cultural Centre, Abeokuta.
Amosun said most young people, especially those in the rural areas saw agriculture as a demeaning profession which was meant for only the poor and uneducated people.
“To address the poor impression that our youths have about agriculture, we have put in place policies, programmes and projects to open up agriculture as a viable business. Such programmes include, Owowo Model Farm Estate, Resuscitation of Farm Institutes, launching of Agri-business Scheme, introduction of Agro-politan economy and many more.” he said.
The Governor added that all efforts were on deck to make lands available for agriculture, while his administration was fashioning out ways to create access to capital for young entrepreneurs.
He added that the important thing now was to give the youth tools and knowledge to be self reliant, adding that the time was ripe to reduce unemployment in the State.
Speaking at the occasion, the Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Taiwo Adeoluwa, said it was important to invest in the youth, stating that investment in the youth was a sure way of securing the future of the State and country at large.
Adeoluwa implored all participants to take full advantage of the convention, calling on youths to internalise all ideas they could gathered from the programme for their benefit.
In her presentation, Founder, Chair Centre Group and Chairman, First Bank Plc, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, advised youths to be focused, bold, diligent and exhibit a high level of integrity in their chosen fields.
The youth, Awosika counselled should not be discouraged with challenges around them, but be determined and prepared for success.
The Chairman, Ogun State National Youth Assembly of Nigeria, Mr. Adeleke Adebajo, said the convention was organised to empower youths in the State as well as find solutions to social vices associated with unemployment.