The Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, has charged Ekiti youth not to despair despite the multifaceted challenges confronting the nation and making the future looks bleak to the youth category.
The Governor specifically advised the youth to be hopeful for a better future and refrain from being despondent due to the current socio-economic situations, exuding confidence that Nigeria is destined to be great and requires the sacrifices of all patriotic citizens for it to assume that status.
Oyebanji said this in Ado Ekiti, on Saturday, during a programme tagged “Youth, let’s Us Talk With BAO”, a political acronym for Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji, as part of the activities marking the First anniversary of the current administration.
The venue of the event, Adetiloye Hall, located within the precinct of the Ekiti State Trade Fair complex, was filled to the brim with members of various respectable youth and students’ groups drawn across the 16 local government areas of the state.
While answering some of the questions posed to him, Oyebanji advised the youth not to wait for instant solutions to all their problems, urging them to key into available opportunities created by government in sports, arts and culture and other sectors of the economy and stop scouting for shut cuts to success.
The Governor said he agreed to the fact that youth are supposed to be partners in governance, but added that they should make enough sacrifices to develop Ekiti the way he and other Ekiti leaders exhibited while scrambling for the state creation under Gen Sanni Abacha-led Military government.
Oyebanji said: “Despite that this country is passing through some tough challenges at present, some people are still making it big in legitimate businesses.
“So, don’t lose hope in this country. Nigeria is destined to be great and it shall be greater. Let us work harder and hope for the best”.
Speaking about his dedication to make Ekiti youth relevant in governance and otvher ventures, Oyebanji said: “I didn’t create the Ministry of Youth Development by accident. I also adopted the Ekiti Youth Agenda document. We are going to look at this document together to know how to make your lives better”.
On how keen he was to put youth in strategic positions in government, Oyebanji said: “But let me tell you that access to power and leadership requires discipline and you being circumspect. All the leaders need successors that can outmatch and surpass them. They will want to test you and once you fail leadership test, then you can’t be entrusted with power and leadership.
“As youths, learn how to discipline yourselves. Don’t be selfish. Try and have good and sound morality. Try and step out of your comfort zones and go through self denials. But are you ready to go through the furnace? If you can’t do these, you can’t be in position of leadership.
“I know the capacity of our youths, if I partner you, it is going to be a win-win situation. This government will continue to accord you respect, because you have shown great understanding. I know you have expectations. This government owes you a great deal, we will partner you to ensure we navigate this path together”.
“I come to this office to deny myself of many benefits, so that we can have a good society that can benefit all of us. That is the kind of spirit and mindset you must develop”.
Speaking further, Oyebanji said his government will soon roll roll out well structured marketing strategy to control astronomic increase in prices of goods and commodities and making lives difficult for the commoners.
The Governor said the Ekiti State Electricity Bill will be signed into law in a matter of days to ensure that state extends electricity to area that are short supplied, particularly the government institutions like the Ekiti State University will benefit from such gesture.
He said his government will liaise with the Governing Councils of the Ekiti State University and Bamidele Olumilua University of Education, Science and Technology, Ikere Ekiti, for possible reduction in the tuition fees payable in the citadels of learning.
Oyebanji promised to sign the Local Contents Bill into Law to prevent capital flight and mandates contractors to tap into potentials available in Ekiti, rather than going to other states to hire labour.
On job creation for the jobless teeming youth population, the governor expressed readiness to provide security and good road facility for investors, so that employment can alsobe generated from the private sector to reinforce what the government is offering.
In his submission at the parley, the Commissioner for Youth Development, Hon. Gold Adesola Adedayo, revealed that the youth constitutes between 65-70% of the total population of the state, saying this accounted for why Governor Oyebanji treats their issues with utmost priority.
Reeling out specific areas where Oyebanji has made remarkable impacts, Adedayo said: “The launching of the Innovation Grant Facility (IGF) stands as a testament to our commitment to enhancing innovation and creativity among our youth.
“This initiative has empowered the young minds of our state with advanced digital skills and entrepreneurship opportunities.
As the Governor aptly puts it, “Innovation is the fuel of progress, and our youths are its drivers. The IGF is the gateway to a future brimming with possibilities.”
The interactive parley was attended by the Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Adeoye Aribasoye, Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Habibat Adubiaro, the Commissioner for Education, Dr. Mrs Olabimpe Aderiye, Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Mr. Jimlas Fasae, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Peju Babafemi, Special Advisers, Youth groups, among others.