ALL the 20,000 cadets of the Youth Empowerment Scheme of Oyo State (YES-O), have been directed by the state government to reapply for the scheme, with immediate effect.
This was contained in a statement issued in Ibadan, on Thursday, by the chairman of Oyo State Agency for Youth Development, Mr Gbenga Olayemi.
Olayemi, in the statement, said the directive for the cadets to reapply was borne out of the need for the state government’s drive and quest to reinvigorate the scheme for optimum performance.
It will be recalled that the YES-O scheme was inaugurated by the state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, on December 1, 2011, with a total of 20,000 youths offered employment.
Although the scheme was aimed at serving as a stop-gap for most of the unemployed youths, a number of them had since been given permanent employment by the state government in various ministries, agencies and parastatals.
Specifically, agencies such as the Oyo State Road Transport Management Authority (OYRTMA), Vehicle Inspection Office, Board for Technical and Vocational Education (BOTAVED), Oyo State Fire Service, Oyo State Signage and Advertisement Agency OYSAA), College of Agriculture, Igbo-Ora, as well as the Auditor-General’s office, the Ministries of Health and the Oyo State Finance Company had absorbed some cadets.
Besides, some of them have also been made to undergo three-month specialised training in different vocations, such as autotronics, tie and dye, tiling and interlocking, food processing and graphic arts with the Industrial Training Fund, while others have been trained in agro-allied business by the Federal Ministry of Youth Development under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Governor Ajimobi, had, however, at various times, expressed displeasure at the conduct of some YES-O cadets, saying his office had been inundated by report of harassment and extortion of members of the public by the cadets.
He also said he was aware of the clandestine acts by the opposition infiltrating the scheme, with a view to making use of some officials in dealing with innocent members of the public so as to discredit the scheme.
“I have received several reports of how some of you have been beating people and carting away the traders’ wares. Let me emphasise here that YES-O was not set up to wage war against members of the public. We will not condone thuggery, harassment and extortion,” the governor had told the cadets.
Olayemi directed all the cadets, who are to be demobilised immediately, to reapply from their respective wards/local governments, adding that criteria for fresh recruitment would include educational qualifications and physical fitness, among others.