A total of 183 poor residents of Oyo State are beneficiaries of a monthly stipend of N7,500 under the World Bank Assisted Youth Empowerment and Social Support Operation (YESSO), facilitated by the Federal Government.
The poor youths identified by community stakeholders across 12 local government areas in the state have been incorporated into a one year programme driven by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).
Disclosing this was the Coordinator, State Operation Coordinating Unit (SOCU), Mrs Laide Lasisi, who said the intervention programme will see the beneficiaries acquire demand-driven skills in Clothing and Textile, Agriculture, Information and Communication Technology, Building, Mechanical Craft and Electrical Installation.
Speaking at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Skills for Jobs Component for YESSO, at State Secretariat, Ibadan, on Thursday, Lasisi said unserious beneficiaries will be kicked out.
She noted that the beneficiaries were deployed to the private sector to enable them get first hand experience.
Noting that 33,134 persons had indicated interest in participating in the programme, she assured that other phases soon to commence will accommodate residents across other local government areas in the state.
South West Zonal Director, NDE, Mrs Safar Adeola who represented Director General, NDE, Dr Nasiru Ladan, remarked that the YESSO programme aimed at reducing poverty and enhancing industrialisation.
She assured that the federal government was committed to regular payment of stipends, adding that it had established advanced vocational skills centres across the country.
State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr Abayomi Oke admonished the beneficiaries to optimise the skills being gathered to be self-reliant and highly sought in the labour market.
He said the state government would provide starter packs for beneficiaries to begin their businesses after internship.
He enjoined the private sector to staff interns found employable after their internship.
Also, Commissioner for Finance and Budget, Mr Bimbo Adekanmbi, represented by Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr David Olatunde, harped on the importance of empowering the youth towards ensuring a virile and strong economy.
Adekanmbi noted the lasting relevance of skills acquisition to last a lifetime.
Representatives of the Organised Private Sector, Ibadan Chamber of Commerce, Tradesmen and Artisans Associations attended the event.
The YESSO programme is designed to enable trainees make the most of actual opportunities in local labour markets, institutional capacity building and public-private partnerships.