By Olufemi Adediran, Abeokuta
The Ogun State government on Thursday pledged to empower no fewer than 1,200 youths who took part at the just concluded Youth convention in State with single digit interest loans to start up their own businesses.
The State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun made this disclosure at the just concluded Convention tagged ‘’Ogun Youths: exploring new frontiers’’ held at the June 12, Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta stating that 1000 participants with good business ideas would be given loans worth N100,000 each by the State government while the remaining 200 youths would get N100,000 each from Ibukun Awosika’s After School Graduate Development Centre (AGDC).
‘’We want to give everybody the same opportunity Ibukun Awosika’s AGDC has promised to give 200 people N100,000 to start, So far you meet the criteria. They can later upscale the amount. As a government for the remaining 1,000 youths, we are going to give them N100,000. So if you have a good ideas you can put them together. It is a loan which will be given at single digit interest rate of 6%’’ Governor Amosun said.
Amosun also advised youths who were interested in getting land for agriculture to be ready to go to the hinterland as lands have been earmarked for agricultural purposes.
‘’We have more than enough lands in Ogun State. It is in our interest to go to the hinterland. I can’t give you land on the express. I can’t give you land around interchange. Please we want you to key into areas we have earmarked for agriculture particularly in line with the mapping’’, he said.
He added that youths who were given between one and twenty hectares of land would pay a token of ten thousand naira as land fee while those who got more than 20 hectares would pay N50,000.
Meanwhile the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr. Afolabi Afuwape has lauded the Governor for the initiative and charged the youth to put the ideas and entrepreneurial skill they have acquired to use.
One of the participants, Quadri Mustapha also commended the State government on the loan package it was offering them, advising other States to emulate Ogun towards empowering their youths.
‘’I am really grateful to the Governor for this programme. I have learnt a lot as it cuts across agriculture, vocational skills, sports, waste to wealth and so on. I appreciate the loan, other States should learn from this’’.
Participants at the programme were educated on agriculture, vocational entrepreneurship, conversion of waste to wealth, entertainment and sports.