The Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has observed that Governor of the State of Osun, Rauf Aregbesola, through his programmes, has demonstrated that good governance is possible.
This was even as the World Bank confirmed that the Federal Government’s Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) was replicated from the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) established by Aregbesola.
Okonjo-Iweala, who was represented by the National Coordinator of YESSO, Mr. Peter Papka, at a two-day workshop organised by the World Bank in Iloko-Ijesha in the State of Osun at the weekend, said with the successful implementation of OYES, Aregbesola has demonstrated that youth development is possible.
The Minister said: “You have demonstrated that good governance is possible with your programmes. You have demonstrated that youth development is possible.“Your programmes so far have demonstrated that you are a good example of government and governance.”
Aregbesola, while addressing participants from seven states including Osun, the host state, said the nation deserves a lot of attention as the leadership that should drive people for development is missing.
He averred that the capacity for a people to live good life is only possible if the nation utilises its productive capacity, saying unemployment is the direct cause of excruciating poverty, total insecurity and under-development the country grapples with today.
According to him, a nation that depends solely on natural resources at the expense of productivity always ends up as poor nation.The governor, who lamented that more than half a century after the departure of the colonial masters and with the huge oil money she earns, Nigeria could not repair the rail lines constructed with the labour of Nigerians by the British let alone adding a kilometre to it.
Aregbesola said his administration is conscious of the high level of poverty among the people which explained why government came up with OYES Scheme to serve as a cushioning measure for drastic reduction of the poverty.
He said, “There is grim and excruciating poverty unimaginable in this country 18 to 20 years ago. And if we continue like this, the situation will be bad. To nip the situation in the bud, we came up with OYES.“This is because we are conscious of the implication of this abject poverty and what it portends for the society.“The ingredients of good governance encompass human capacities for growth and development. We must develop ourselves to be self-supportive and viable. Wealthy nations are one that develops by their productivity but nations that depend on natural resources mostly end up being poor.
“Our oil money should be used only as stimulant for massive production of goods and services. The only antidote to poverty is work and whoever does not work is an enemy of the society.”
The governor added that the human content of every government is the indicator of good governance, cautioning that anywhere in the world where youths a left unemployed, there would be no peace.The World Bank team leader, Professor Funsho Okunmadewa, described Aregbesola as a safety net in poverty alleviation and reduction through OYES. He commended the Osun School Meal Programme (O’MEAL) as well as the recently launched digital e-learning device (Opon Imo).
The don disclosed that YESSO was a total replica of OYES, borrowed from and designed in Osun and facilitated by the World Bank, adding that YESSO was built on the foundation laid by OYES.“There is no way we will talk about YESSO acceptance at the National Assembly and the World Bank without Aregbesola, his OYES team and Osun taking a pride of place.“On behalf of the World Bank, we will continue to support Osun. We stood by Opon Imo and we will get back to your state shortly,” Okunmadewa said.
Represented at the programme were teams from the National Directorate of Employment, Ministry of Finance and others.