Ondo launches youth empowerment scheme in riverine communities

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Ondo State governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko

The Ondo State governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, has inaugurated the “Lakwa Vanguard”, a youth empowerment scheme initiated for the youth of the riverine communities of the state.

The youth, numbering about 300 that were drawn from the two local government areas of Ilaje and Ese-Odo are expected to engage in the clearing of the waterways and make them free from water hyacinth.

Speaking at the event, packaged by the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC), the governor said the 300 youths inaugurated would form the first phase of the programme designed to empower the people and also improve their economic lives.

According to him, government had planned to increase the number of the beneficiaries after an independent assessment of the performance of the pilot phase.

Mimiko disclosed that each of the participating youths would be paid a stipend of N20, 000 which is subject to an upward review after a confidential appraisal of the current effort.

He said the people were engaged to work for their communities by clearing the weeds on the waterways in order to make life meaningful for the people.

The governor, however, said OSOPADEC under his administration would continue to put in place what would improve the quality of life of the people of the riverine communities.

Mimiko said the commission had commenced the processes for the 2014 empowerment programme for the aged meant for people above 70 years in the mandate areas.

Also, the Chairman of OSOPADEC, Pastor Johnson Ogunyemi, said the programme was initiated because access to the interior communities of the local government areas was essetially by water.

He said, “It is in this light that we conceived the need to make the waterways free from encumbrances to encourage commuters and other users of the waterways to carry out their daily activities.”

The Olugbo of Ugbo, Oba Fredrick Akinruntan, urged the youth to be serious about the assignment and utilise the opportunity given to them to be useful to their communities.

The traditional ruler said the people should not see the stipend given them as free money, but should strive to make their impact known.

Also, the Amapetu of Mahin, Oba Lawrence Omowole, lauded the state government for the initiative, saying it was the primary duty of the Federal Government to clear waterways.

He also charged them to work for the money they would be given to encourage government on the project.

Source: Nigerian Tribune

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