By Gbenga Sodeinde, Senior Correspondent, Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has assured investors willing to establish their businesses in the state of the readiness of his administration to welcome ideas that will drive and fast-track the state economy.
The Governor gave this assurance in Ado Ekiti, southwest Nigeria at a Youth Empowerment Scheme organized by Royalserve Wireless Limited, a partner of the MTN; saying that his administration is committed to building a state where government would be willing to partner with investors in providing enabling environment for businesses to thrive regardless of their sizes.
Governor Fayemi who commended the Ado-Ekiti borrn owner of the company, Mr Sola Alabi, for supporting government’s vision in empowering unemployed youths to become self-reliant charged other Ekiti indigenes to emulate the gesture because government alone cannot provide jobs for the teeming unemployed population.
He expressed worry at the lackadaisical attitude of many youths to self-employment and entrepreneur, saying that youths should not place their focus solely on politics but instead empower themselves so that selfish politicians would not take advantage of them.
The Governor distributed some of the empowerment materials worth N3 million to benefitting youths and urged them to make good use of them.
The materials included equipment to set up mobile call centres and recharge cards worth N15,000 to each of the beneficiaries.
Speaking at the empowerment programme, Mr Femi Ajayi who is a consultant to the company commended Governor Fayemi for the compelling and the conducive environment he is creating in Ekiti for people to live, work and invest in the State.
Ajayi urged the benefitting youths to make judicious use of the empowerment materials; saying that they too must be committed to developing a “life transforming vision and a poverty eradicating passion”.
“About 95 percent of the people of Ekiti rely directly or indirectly on government for their means of livelihood. It is supposed to be the other way round. You can turn this empowerment into a multimillion naira business if only you will be focused and disciplined”.
While also speaking at the “ Keke Fayemi” Day organized by the State Chapter of Tricycle Owners and Riders Association of Nigeria (TORAN), the Governor recalled how his administration started the Tricycle scheme last year with the aim of employing at least 2,000 youths; adding that the scheme has become the preferred choice of small scale business men and women and farmers in the state.
Fayemi asserted that tricycles, popularly called “Keke Fayemi” and “Keke Eyiyato” is already contributing its quota to driving the 8-point agenda by providing intra-city transportation of people, goods and services in the state.
“Keke Eyiyato is playing a crucial role in stimulating our economy by helping to build a better transportation network which is very important in the attraction of tourists. A good transportation network is not only beneficial for local inhabitants but also has a positive impact on tourism prospects. It contributes to a better tourism destination’s image because tourists want to be able to travel within a destination as well as the interior and neighbouring environment of the same destination seamlessly”, he said.
The Governor commended the Ekiti Enterprise Development Agency for the successful handling of the scheme; saying that government will continue to expand the scheme as it assists in the integration of socio-economic activities in the State.