Economic Hardship: Ogun Youths Present 11-Point Proposal to Abiodun

James Sowole in Abeokuta

Youth groups under the aegis of Coalition of Ogun Youth Forums (COYF), yesterday, presented 11-point agenda that could mitigate effects of the current economic hardship on residents of the state to Governor Dapo Abiodun. 

The COYF asked the Ogun State Government to initiate a clear cut mechanism that would capture the youth constituency in its various interventions and measures meant to mitigate the effects of the current economic situation in the country.

The coalition, which is made up of over 30 youth groups, presented the proposal at a news conference held at Iwe Iroyin, Abeokuta, the state’s capital.

Addressing journalists, the Coordinator of COYF, Mr. Sodeinde Daniel, who was flanked by the Secretary, Mr. Kazeem Baiyewu and COYF Spokesperson, Mr. Fẹmi Owoeye, said that the average, self-employed and out of school youth is not directly captured in the initiative.

Sodeinde said: “Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun, we commend your leadership and commitment to the welfare of Ogun State residents. Your efforts in prioritising the development of our state have not gone unnoticed, and we recognised the strides made under your administration.

“However, it is essential to call your attention to the plight of the indigent Ogun State residents and citizens alike who are grappling with the unfavorable economic realities.

“We received the news of your palliatives (intervention) measures with gladness and gratitude, but we must point out that there is no clear cut mechanism to capture the youth constituency in the various state initiatives, interventions and measures.

“The average self-employed and out of school youth is not directly captured in the initiative. This is a huge lacuna that must be corrected immediately to avoid future complications.

“This can be affected by the creation of a truly youthful committee to see to this.”

The youth also asked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to make crucial decisions to address the state of the nation’s economy and implemented same urgently to alleviate the pains of Nigerians. 

Stating that Nigerians have suffered enough due to the removal of fuel subsidy and fall in value of Nigerian Naira and  insecurity, Sodeinde said that the coalition does not believe in street protests as such would cause more hardship.

He said: “We recognise that adding to these burdens by disrupting daily income opportunities for others through street protests would not yield the desired change. Hence, we emphasise the significance of our current media engagement.

“Its purpose extends beyond raising public awareness; it serves as a catalyst to prompt Government at all levels and the vital Ministries, Departments, and Agencies into proactive action.”

Specifically in addressing the real issues, the youths asked the federal government to reopen international borders to stimulate economic growth through increased trade and investment.

The coalition also asked government to incorporate Non-State Actors into the palliative committee to ensure a broader representation of the affected populace and establish and manage food bank.

In addition, the coalition advocated for “One Year Free Health Insurance for All Residents.”

Other Proposal presented by the coalition included that the government should provide subsidised transport system and roll out more CNG buses to ease burden of commuting for the people.