On the 31st of October 2016, The Commissioner for Youth and Sports in Oyo State, Honourable Abayomi Oke, engaged with members of the public on Twitter on his plans for youth and sports development in the state. The commissioner bared his mind on issues through his official twitter handle @oysgyouth_sport in a tweet chat with the hashtag #AsktheBoss which was hosted by popular Ibadan blogger and social issues analyst Adeyemi Oba @UrbanCulture.
According to Hon. Oke, The role of the Ministry of Youth and Sports in Oyo State is to evolve and to implement government policies and programmes for youth and sports development in the state.
The commissioner explained that since he was sworn in on the 17th of June this year, he has brought a lot of new things into the administration of the Ministry. One of those is the restructuring and repositioning for efficiency and effectiveness in the current economic recession. He added that while his office has faced a major challenge of lack of funds owing to the economic situation of the country, he has not let that deter him. He said that in fact, it has led to him being more creative and thinking out of the box.
On his programmes for youth development, the commissioner said:
“We in the Ministry are working in partnership with International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan. We are currently seeking working arrangements with the Leventis foundation for Youth training. We are also working on the introduction and reclassification of sports development into two groups.Under age sports (Catch them young) and 2) Adult sports (Healthy living through sports)”
On the question about what the ministry is doing about the high rate of youth unemployment in Oyo Stae, The commissioner said that there are various skills acquisition programmes ongoing, and the ministry is trying to coordinate these activities. He declared that soon, all youth, both employed and unemployed will have the opportunity to register in a database that the ministry is creating for youths in the state. Hon. Oke also pointed out that the state government has been trying to help Youth founded SMEs through the office of Bureau of Public Private Participation in conjunction with the Bank of Industry, and also that the Ministry (of Youth and Sports) is currently looking at ways to help Oyo State youths to gain access to commercial banks for various SME funds.
On the question of the plans of his ministry for a youth-driven entertainment industry, the Commissioner said that the ministry has now included a thematic scope of entertainment within our youth development.”The idea is to use the platform to promote our youth and create alternative means of employment.” With the creation of the “entertainment” section within the youth agency.It will enable our youth to be more engaging with government to promote the social segment of the state.
Hon. Oke concluded by saying that he looks forward to engaging with youths with productive ideas for youth development in the state and that his office is always open to anybody with good ideas and that people can send him ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org or Youthandsport@oyostate.gov.ng