Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called on the youth in Nigeria to be disciplined in the pursuit of their career to prepare for leadership, stressing the need for them to be committed to the development of Nigeria.
Professor Osinbajo spoke on Saturday at the inauguration parade of the 4th Batch of the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme held at the Oshogbo City Stadium, Osun State, South West Nigeria.
“We cannot build this country unless we are disciplined, unless we are committed,” Osinbajo said at the event, which saw 20,000 more youths engaged in the scheme, which is designed to as a social intervention programme by the Governor Rauf Aregbesola administration.
The vice president said: “I’ve seen your commitment, I’ve seen your discipline and I’m sure that there is no need to refer to you as leaders of tomorrow. You are indeed the leaders of today because the future is already here.”
He reminded the members of the 4th Batch of the OYES programme of the duty they owe not just to themselves but also to their communities, state and country.
“Let me say to you, all you who are in this latest batch of the OYES programme, you have a duty not just to yourselves, but to your state and country. This country belongs to you. The future belongs to you.”
Prof. Osinbajo said the N-Power component of the Social Investment Programme of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, drew inspiration from the design of the Osun State OYES.
“So, the inspiration of the N-Power is the OYES programme and I believe strongly that our nation will benefit greatly from the expansion of this programme to all states of the federation of Nigeria.
“When in 2015, our party won the national election we decided that we must design a programme for the engagement and employment of young people, and for the training of young people and that’s why we have the N-Power programme.
“Today, we have 500,000 N-Power beneficiaries across Nigeria in every single local government area and we actually have more N-Power beneficiaries than policemen in our country.
“They are all over the country doing incredible things. They are teaching, they are involved in public health, they are involved in agriculture, and they are in every facet of life,” he explained.
Vice President Osinbajo expressed hope that the youth who have been engaged in the Osun State OYES programme would rise to become great leaders in Nigeria.
Earlier in his speech, Governor Rauf Aregbesola, said youth empowerment has been central to his administration.
“We must get it right with youths. They are the present and the future of the nation. The nation that failed to address the issue of youth properly is doomed,” the Governor said.
Aregbesola said the youth must be given direction and their creative channelled towards maximum productivity.
The OSUN State OYES was created in 2010 and was designed to train the youth in skills acquisition and to set up small businesses.
Governor Aregbesola said the introduction of the OYES in the state has reduced the unemployment rate in the state from its five-year average of 12.4% to 3%.
According to Aregbesola, the World Bank has taken notice of the remarkable impact of the OYES and has understudied its operation and recommended it to the federal government and other African countries.
He said the OYES has engaged over 62,000 since its inception.