The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with the Norwegian Government has trained and empowered 200 youths and women (victims of violence) in Osun on different vocational skills and equipping them with business starter packs.
tThe UNDP, during the graduation and presentation of equipment to the trained persons, Tuesday, also inaugurated the Crisis Early Warning and Early Response System (CEWERS) for Osun.
Speaking at the programme, UNDP Deputy Representative in Abuja, Mr Lealem Dinku, said the inauguration of the UNDP/Norway assisted interventions, the CEWERS/Situation Room launch and graduation ceremony, is phenomenon to the peace, stability and development of the state.
Dinku, represented by Mr Mathew Alao, said the CEWERS would provide early warning signals that can be acted upon by government to strengthen the state’s peace and security.
He said the empowerment of the 200 beneficiaries would also help build community resilience to violence and promote peaceful coexistence.
He said the 200 beneficiaries from Osun is the third in a row that UNDP and Government of Norway have organised training and equipped in three states within three weeks.
‘Few days ago, we were at Ekiti to celebrate with the state and the 200 beneficiaries for the feat achieved in the programme.
“The selection of these beneficiaries was carried out by UNDP in collaboration with the state government devoid of political interference.
“The process met the standard principle of SDGS and 2030 Agenda of leaving no one behind” as the neediest of over 1,000 candidates that applied were selected for the scheme.” he said
Mr Hans Peter Christopherson, the Norwegian government Representative and the Trade Councillor, Norwegian Embassy in Nigeria, said it was a privilege and honour for him to be in Osun for the programme because of the important impact of the programme to so many vulnerable people.
Christopherson said idleness and unemployment was the root of all evil, saying the vocational training would attend to the problem of unemployment from all angles.
Gov. Gboyega Oyetola of Osun, in his address said the CEWERS Situation Room and training and empowerment of the 200 youths and women is funded by the Norwegian Government and implemented by United Nations Development Programme.
Oyetola who was represented by his deputy Benedict Alabi, said the state government appreciated the support given to victims of violence in the state, being a good foundation to strengthen beneficiaries’ capacities, empowerment for self-reliance and lifting out of poverty.
“On the other hand, the Early Warning and Early Response project was designed to collaborate and strengthen the security framework in and around the state and further facilitate attainment of sustainable peace and stability in the state.
“On behalf of the good people of Osun, I say a big thank you to our partners for these worthwhile interventions.” he said
He said the CEWERS and Situation Room was a welcome addition to the state Emergency 293 Short-Code Call System through which citizens report emergency cases.
“This call system has helped, in no small measure, in keeping at bay, potential crises situations and ultimately helped us in coordinating and responding to diverse emergency needs.” he said
In his opening remarks, Prof. Olalekan Yinusa, Osun Commissioner for Economic Planing Budget and Development, said those selected for the training were picked from the World Bank Certified Social Register of the State.
Yinusa said 635 names were submitted to UNDP for the training before 200 were selected, adding that the graduands today had undergone six months training, with first phase of their training focusing on helping them overcome the trauma of violence.
Speaking in the same vein, Mr Oladoyin Bamisayemi , Osun Commissioner for Education, said the vocational training done by UNDP for the victims of violence was done in collaboration with Osun Government through the Osun State Board for Technical and Vocational Education (OSBTVE).
Bamisayemi said their training was done between February and August, 2021 and that it started with a two weeks orientation programme where participants were given lectures on the required ethical behaviour in the process of skill acquisition, general acceptable behaviour in business as well as interaction within the larger society.
He said the graduands had been trained on vocations of tailoring, electrical installation, bricklaying, fabrication and welding, carpentry/wood work and roofing, plumbing, shoe making and leather works, hair dressing, computer science, catering and decoration, soap making and mobile phones repair.
“It is also significant to state that all the participants have gone through the rudiments of training in entrepreneurship.
“The various knowhow acquired by the grandaunts are good enough for them to become self-reliant. They will create/establish business and become employers of labour.” he said
Speaking one of the beneficiaries, Adepoju Abiodun described the programme as laudable one.
“We appreciate the effort of our amiable Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola in ensuring that problem of unemployment is reduced to the bearing minimum in the state.
“We give kudos to UNDP and we thank God for His guidance throughout the training. There had been no loss. It is indeed a fulfilment of dreams. We do not take this gesture for granted. We are like Oliver Twist who ask for more.
I will like to advise my co-graduands not to misuse this opportunity.” He said.
Also, Mr Adepoju Adeoye, another beneficiary, thanked the UNDP, state government and Norwegian government for the opportunity given to him to be trained.
Adeoye said said he intended to start a business of his own, after the empowerment, adding that he would make judicious use of the equipment given to him to better his life and add to economic development of the state