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Fighting unemployment in Oyo State through Yes OOO

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Unemployment can best be described as an economic condition marked by the fact that individuals actively seeking jobs remain jobless. Unemployment is often used as a measure of the health of the  economy . The most frequently cited measure of unemployment is the unemployment rate, that is the number of unemployed person divided by the number of people in the labour force.

High rate of unemployment has been in existence in Nigeria as far back as early 80s and every state of the federation, including Oyo State has its own share of unemployment. Since May 1999 when full democratic governance commenced in Nigeria, successive administrations in the country have put various measures in place to tackle unemployment, but not even one of the administrations at the Federal level  have succeeded in employing ten thousands youth at a time .

In Oyo State alone, over 100,000 youths are estimated to be jobless, though further investigations also revealed that a greater percentage of the above figure had no formal training and possibly untrainable.

The Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, upon assumption of office commenced the process to get a greater percentage of the youths off the streets. This process culminated into the establishment of Youth Empowerment Scheme  Of Oyo State also known as YES....OOOO.

  This project was inaugurated in December 2011, few months into the regime of Gov Ajimobi .20,000 youths in the state were given the golden opportunity of being employed in five different areas of infrastructural and economic development such  as Agriculture, Education, Health Environmental Services And Works.  

Each of the employed youths  is entitled to 10, 000 naira per month totaling about 200million Naira per month for the entire 20,000 employed youths. The Governor also mandated that those with prerequisite qualification be absorbed into civil service, this process is still in progress up till now.

A greater percentage with qualification in Agriculture have been trained and absorbed as Agric extension officers, while those with papers in education have been inducted and absorbed as teachers in the state, the same process is also being applied to other areas.

The government is also aware of the fact that the token being given to the yes oo cadet is just to keep body and soul together but primarily to have them engaged and assure them of better future.

The YES OO project initiated by Governor Abiola Ajimobi has directly or indirectly impacted on the lives of the people of Oyo State depending on the way an individual sees it. Area boys, Garage touts, Yahoo boys, Nite crawlers, and able bodied beggars have been reduced within the state.

While some of the youths can boast of having something to do, members of the public  as well have been acknowledging  the contribution of YES OO cadets in environmental sanitation and traffic control in the state.

Without being immodest the yes oo cadets have had their contribution to the socio economic development of Oyo State.

But like any other project that is being introduced for the first time in Nigeria , the scheme also had its own challenges such as knowing the correct figure of dedicated yes oo cadets,delay in salary payment to avoid paying ghost and non existing cadets and possibly deployment challenges.

The government has also discovered that some of the employed youths are possibly keeping their earlier engagement  while they are still part of YESOO project. Some are private school teachers while some are petty traders.

Having noticed these, the government has equally taken the bull by the horn through the creation of desk officers for yes oo cadets, who would turn in monthly report on

the activities of each cadet which would in turn facilitate quick salary payment for a dedicated cadet. This step was taken to prevent divided interest and double loyalty.
Complaints from the cadets are expected to be directed to the yes oo desk officers in each of the 33 local government councils.

For Oyo State to be better we must all play our roles ipinle  Oyo le Dara  ajumose gbogbo wa ni.

Akinkunle, a journalist based in Oyo State sent in this piece from Ibadan.

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