One of the topmost agenda of the transformational Government of Captain Idris Wada in Kogi State is job creation and wealth generation for the people of the State most especially, for the youths.
Driven by his unencumbered passion for the youths, Governor Idris Wada just few months after he assumed the leadership mantle of the State, precisely in April 2012, appointed Dr. Temitope Sinkaiye as Special Adviser on Youths and Women Development with a mandate to help implement his administration policies and programmes which has direct bearing on the people.
The appointment of Dr. Temitope Sinkaiye in just little time began to yield positive result bringing forth good fruits for harvest. One of such good fruits is the birth of The Youth Advancement and Development for Kogi State Programe, popularly known as YAD4KOGI, created as a means of addressing youths unemployment in the state.
And in order to harness the idea of its founder, the YAD4KOGI programme since the inception of the administration has received special attention of government upon the realization that future of the State rest solely on the shoulder of the youths.
Unequivocally, Government has demonstrated an unparallel love towards the programe and therefore spare no effort towards the realization of the objective through the vigorous pursuit of the core idea of the YAD4KOGI programme.
One of the key aspect of YAD4KOGI programme aimed at achieving its objective is the Agro – Entrepreneurship and Development scheme.
The Agro-entrepreneurship scheme was designed to tap into the agriculture potential of the state for employment and wealth creation; both for the youths and the entire populace of the state at large.
Beneficiaries of this scheme consists of graduates with OND and above, drawn from the twenty one local government area of the state, aged between 18 – 35 years old.
The young Entreprenuers were made to undergo training in Entrepreneurship skill development, Cooperative Enterprises management, Marketing Techniques, Record Keeping and Accounts, costing and Pricing Strategy, Feasibility study for small businesses as well as Business Plan Development.
After the training, the Entrepreneurs were giving loans of N250,000 in tranches to enable them start their various Agro – businesses. They were equally encouraged to form cooperative groups in order to pull their resources together for maximum benefit. So far, over one thousand youths have benefited from this programme with more enrollment coming up soon.
As a result of this development, the beneficiaries return back to their various communities to established several farms; both for crop and livestocks production. The established enterprises include poultry, fishery, livestock and agro- processing.
Many of those who formed themselves into groups has been able to establish cottage industries. A quite number of such cottage industries have in turn sprang up across the State. Mainly, there are cassava cottage houses established by these groups for the purpose of processing cassava and other crops into finished goods.
Some of the cottage industries established are, the Odu cassava processing centre in Dekina Local Government area and the Evabe cassava processing centre in Ihema, Okehi Local Government area imela cassava processing factory in yagba east local government area among others. Some group too have commence the building of there cottage industries with many of them already in its advanced stages of completion.
Its worthy of note that a sizable numbers of the youths have now become employers of labour through the jobs created from their Agro- enterprise. Many other youths are now employed directly and indirectly into the agro- businesses.
Indeed, the success stories recorded from Governor Wada Youth Advancement Development programme are enormous. Youths across the state has attested to this fact. Those who have benefited from the scheme has given credit to the gesture. Those who have been wandering about now have reason to raise their voices to eulogized the governor for the gesture that have taken them out of the street, putting food on their table, turning them to employer of labour and making them a better person in the society. Apparently, to these people, Governor Wada has helped them move from grass to grace.
It is no gain saying then, that the fruits and benefits derived from the YAD4KOGI programe has further consolidated the State governor as one whose blueprints has direct bearing to the citizenry of the State, and Dr. Temitope Sinkaye has the guiding angel that is co-piloting in taking the youths to their state of ‘eldorado’.
Written by Rotimi Odofin, the Kogi State Ministry of Information, PRO YAD4kogi