Ondo begins assessment of empowerment programme

By From Niyi Bello, Akure   |   11 May 2010   |   12:27 pm  
THE monitoring process of the Ondo State Youth Empowerment Programme, which was started last year with disbursement of several millions of naira and distribution of hundreds of different vocational equipment, would begin this week, Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development, Yekinni Olanipekun has disclosed.

About five hundred youths, drawn from the 18 local councils of the state were set on definite courses of vocational development and were assisted with needed cash, machines and equipment for their chosen vocations.

The monitoring exercise, which would be carried out by a committee saddled with that responsibility in the ministry, according to him, is coming before this year’s empowerment programme is put in place.

Olanipekun, who expressed satisfaction with the field reports on the performances of the beneficiaries said it is necessary to take a look at the whole project to identify areas of failure and how to improve on them before the next tranche of disbursement is released.

He disclosed that last year, “apart from the fund that was involved, several hundreds of sewing machines, welding and block-making machines, hairdressing and barbing equipments, computer sets and other accessories were distributed free to beneficiaries.”

The commissioner added that the state government was going to do more this year “because the number of beneficiaries that we are compiling has already exceeded the five hundred that we had last year. I am sure that triple the number that benefited last year would be affected this year.”

The monitoring exercise, according to him, is to ensure compliance with the aims and objectives of the state government in the funding of the programme adding that “we are already seeing the effects on the social and economic lives of the concerned youths and the larger society.

“The number of youths, who depend on political thuggery to survive has dwindled considerably as we are seeing many of them settling down and dropping their anti-social activities to embrace government’s initiative.”



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