STEP: Oyo YHPL Commends Gov. Makinde For Supporting Agribusinesses

The Youth of Honours & Proactive Leadership (YHPL) Oyo State Chapter, has applauded Governor Seyi Makinde for the launch of the ‘Start Them Early Programme’ in the state.

In a statement issued by its state coordinator Mr. Kehinde Orolade, and Mr. Adeyemo Habeeb, Publicity Secretary, over the weekend, the forum described Governor Makinde’s approach as an impressive one in promoting agribusiness as a profitable career alternative for young people.
InsideOyo.com recalls that the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture and the state government launched the ‘Start Them Early Programme’ at Fasola Grammar School, Oyo.

Fully supported by IITA, STEP is aimed at changing the perception of agriculture as a ‘low-grade’ vocation among Nigerian youths, especially secondary school students. The aim is to equip students with modern agricultural practices and innovations, with a goal that it will birth a new generation of enlightened Agropreneurs in Oyo state at inception, and Nigeria as a whole ultimately.

Full statement below:
Knowing the Nigeria economy to be one that is highly dependent on oil revenues, as well as acknowledging the constant calls for diversification as a way of stimulating the economy and propelling its growth, it was with great excitement that the YHPL earnestly anticipated Governor Seyi Makinde’s mission of promoting agribusiness as a profitable career alternative for young people. 

We the Youth of Honours & Proactive Leadership (YHPL) Oyo State Chapter, strive to acknowledge and commend good governance when it is being practiced, as well as aim for the economic emancipation of the Nigerian youth. The transformational actions of the Oyo state Governor fit both goals. 
On the 23rd of July, evincing great foresight and vision, Governor Seyi Makinde at the launch of the ‘Start Them Early Programme’ at Fasola Grammar School, Oyo, pledged his support for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture’s project. STEP is aimed at changing the perception of agriculture as a ‘low-grade’ vocation among Nigerian youths. It is decidedly targeted at young Nigerians still in secondary schools – a level at which young people are still highly impressionable. The IITA intends to expose select secondary school students to modern agricultural practices and innovations, with a goal that it will birth a new generation of enlightened Agropreneurs in Oyo state at inception, and Nigeria as a whole ultimately.

Impressively, Governor Makinde gave assurances that his administration would work towards replicating STEP across other towns in the state, stating that it aligned with the aims of his administration to explore agribusiness as a medium for boosting the state’s economy.
What is most impressive about Governor Seyi Makinde is that he backs his claims with evident actions. The launch of STEP comes only 3 months after the Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency bill was signed into law. Since the creation of OYSADA, the Makinde-led administration has kicked off the Youth in Agribusiness Tomatoes Project targeted at young people in Awe, Igboora, and Tede – all towns in Oyo State. Farm Estate projects have also commenced in Akufo and Eruwa.
If this administration sees its plans through to successful execution, the possibilities are limitless. A society that has a pro-agriculture stance, equips its youth with technological solutions that will address agricultural challenges, and encourages agricultural innovation, is several steps closer to achieving food security and subsequently – economic development.

We cannot but commend Governor Makinde, as we believe he fully understands the pivotal role a government has to play in creating an enabling environment for economic advancement, and that he has the interest of the youth – and by extension, the people of Oyo state – at heart. 
In the midst of several upsetting news over the past week, which shows how Nigeria suffers terribly under poor and myopic leadership, Governor Seyi Makinde remains a beacon of hope and a personification of what good governance should be and can be.
It is the YHPL’s fervent desire, that the admirable Governor continues to keep his promises and drives Oyo state forward to the status of a reputable metropolis with a thriving economy and an innovative, employable and prosperous populace. We pray for continued foresight and wisdom for the Governor as he continues to carry out his obligations towards his people. 
While we hope for this, we entreat leaders of other Nigerian states to borrow a leaf – or two – from Governor Makinde’s wise cap and create commendable legacies for themselves and their residents. It is time to build the Nigeria of our dreams and it starts with building the youth.
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