Abimbola Abatta, Osogbo
Osun State Government, on Thursday, graduated 2000 beneficiaries of its Post-COVID-19 Skills Acquisition/Upgrade Intervention Programme.
The empowerment, which covered training of citizens on several vocations and disbursement of loan facilities for startups, was part of the efforts of the government to reduce the rate of unemployment in the State following the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Sanusi Akintunde, one of the beneficiaries who learnt paint-making through the programme, lauded the Governor and the government of the State of Osun for the efforts at reducing unemployment and social vices in the State of Osun.
According to Sanusi, “This programme was a major booster for me because it provided the two basic requirements for wealth creation, which is knowledge and funds. Now, I have learnt how to make paints and the government is also empowering us with startup loans.
“This puts me on the entrepreneurial lane, which is proving very important in the modern economy.
“Without a doubt, this programme will add value to me financially. I hope that the government sustains the programme to further reduce unemployment in the state and the vices that could result from it,” Sanusi stated.
Another beneficiary, Adegbola Odunayo, described the programme as one that promises a long-term economic impact for the beneficiaries and the State.
“Being a student I was stranded as a result of the strike and then the COVID-19 pandemic, but thankfully, this training bailed me out and has prepared me for what is ahead of me. I am no longer stranded and cannot be. Even when it’s time for my NYSC, I already have an idea of what to profitably engage myself with,” Adegbola stated.
Adetoyi Temitope, a beneficiary from the fashion sector, commended Governor Oyetola for the initiative which she described as the first of its kind in the State.
Adetoyi, who claimed that she had been in the business of sewing for some years, said her skills have been greatly improved through the programme.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Commerce, Industries, Cooperatives and Empowerment, Dr Bode Olaonipekun, described the 2000 beneficiaries as a pilot programme, adding that the government is targeting 15,000 beneficiaries.