Benue state Governor, Samuel Ortom has disclosed the plan of his administration to create enabling environment for youths to thrive in business.
The Governor who stated this today while interfacing with youths from different groups at the New Banquet Hall, Government House Makurdi tasked them to embrace entrepreneurship. He said that the world economy is now driven by the private sector and Government alone cannot provide adequate jobs for the teeming unemployed youths.
Although the Governor complained about the character of some youths who mismanaged the funds lent them in the past and did not refund it, he said that all the youths could not be condemned because some of them had disappointed the government.
He therefore directed his Chief of Staff, Commissioners for Youths and Sports and that of Commerce, Trade and Investment to study the youths closely and identify those with commitment and good Business plans to be assisted with financial grants to support their them.
Earlier in her address, state Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Hon. Mrs Ladi Ajene Isegbe appreciated the Benue State Government and all members of the organizing team who played key roles in setting up the event.
She said Ortom’s administration was ready to continuously evolve programmes and initiatives to guarantee youth engagement for global action by building their economic and political capacity.
“In Benue State, it is no doubt that the current administration is very intentional about her interest in incorporating the youth in all aspects of governance. This is
evident in the government’s readiness to offer a listening ear to the concerns of the youth which is always backed with urgent positive responses”, she said.
Mrs Isegbe further enumerated the Governor’s efforts in youth empowerment and sports development:
“The Benue state government has made recognizable effort in ensuring youth empowerment through skill acquisition, support for SMEs and investments in sports and entertainment.
“The governor Samuel Ortom led administration understands that through economic and political empowerment, we strengthen the youth’s position in influencing more inclusive and sustainable policies that are of local and global
importance. That is why His Excellency, the Executive governor of Benue State from
the onset of his first tenure in office, ensured that the Youths, Women and Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) constituted one of the five strategic programmes of his administration. His excellency in line with the United Nation’s agenda for concerted global action has played a vital role in curbing unemployment among the youth when he approved the employment of 500 youths into the service of the Board of Internal Revenue and as Lecturers at the Benue State University.
“His excellency through the
Ortom Youth and Women Empowerment Foundation also sponsored series of
trainings and empowerment initiatives in collaboration with the Centre for Youth and
Women Skills Acquisition which saw over 20,000 youths and women receive substantial training and empowerment in various skills such as agro-allied skills,
tailoring, tie and dye, culinary skills and lots more.
“The Benue State entertainment
scene has not been left out as entertainment outfits such as Reuvitek Entertainment
and Production and The Sounds of Benue musical talent show to mention a few, have
received massive support from his excellency through various cash donations.
“His Excellency, governor Samuel Ortom has sustained the release of various sums of money to the orientation programmes of the NYSC and handed out cash
awards to distinguished corps members at different passing-out ceremonies of the
“In the field of sports, Benue youths have been engaged consistently through the sponsorship of different competitions and championships of various sporting
associations at the Benue State Sports council. Apart from the topmost priority
accorded to Lobi Stars FC in prosecution of the National Professional Football
League and other Continental engagements, the renewed interest in the sponsorship of Invincible Angels FC of Gboko- a private owned female football club that features in the National Professional Women’s Football League is unprecedented. There are prospects that the club may eventually be solely sponsored by the government in order to promote female participation in sports in accordance with global standards
for equal opportunity and inclusivity for all genders”.
She added that, ” as regards Youth involvement in politics, we are pleased to serve in an era that has seen drastic increase in the level of representation for young people in positions of authority. The youth can boast of having an Honourable Member of the Benue State House of Assembly who was duly elected by the people of his constituency at the age of 29. This is apart from several others who were elected at the Local Government level. We hope to ensure that the necessary structures are put in place to
facilitate further spurge in the level of youth participation and representation in politics as it is more than evident today that contrary to popular opinion of a supposed lack of experience by young people in assuming and handling leadership responsibilities, the Youth of Benue State are ready and capable of serving in whatever capacity.
“It is only by empowering the youth and giving them a voice that we can effectively run a system of governance that is fair, inclusive and caters to the needs of society at a global level.
“Young people under the age of 35 contribute to over 70% of Africa’s population hence it goes without saying that the youth are the biggest stakeholders in the affairs of society. As we stand only 10 years away from the United Nation’s 2030 agenda, we must evaluate our efforts thus far towards promoting youth engagement in three key areas which are; at the local level, national level through politics and legislature, and at the global level”, Isegbe stated.
In their separate remarks, member representing Konshisha Constituency in the Benue state House Assembly, Hon. Cephas Dyako and his counterpart, Hon. Msughter Kudi who represents Benue North appreciated Governor Ortom’s efforts for creating enabling environment for Agriculture to thrive in the state. They appealed to the Governor to give particular attention to the Agricultural sector to support the youths even as they noted that he was doing to his best and urged the youths to explore the available opportunities to make it in life.
Speaking much earlier, the youths numbering twenty who visited the Governor as part of the activities marking this year’s International Youth Day celebration made various requests to the government. Some of them who spoke were Francisca Ordega, Ornyiman Aluor, Timothy Shimom, John Mark Tyonongu, Dominic Aburuku, Joy Egbiri and others appealed to the government that only youths be elected as Councilors, 50% of the tractors provided by the Benue state Government be allocated to the youths who have the strength to farm, youths inclusion in governance should be 40% and sports especially for the girl child should be encouraged in order to explore abundant talents yet to be tapped.