Friday, 24 March 2017

80 Unemployed Youths Benefit From FG’s Graduates Empowerment Scheme

Mr Suleiman Adamu, the Minister of Water Resources, on Thursday, said that 80 unemployed graduates were profiting from Federal Government's Graduate and Youth Empowerment Scheme  on water system farming.

Adamu, who spoke at the official introduction of the plan in Illah, Delta, said that the programme was a piece of effort to renew the River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) to support the country's horticultural production. 

80 Unemployed Youths Benefit From FG’s Graduates Empowerment Scheme

He said that the revitalisation of the RBDAs was focused at providing job opportunities through water system farming and aquaculture, while boosting Nigeria's efforts to achieve food security.

He said that the plan was a branch of an agreement signed between the Federal Government and Songhai Integrated Farms Ltd. in Benin Republic.

The minister reviewed that the agreement focused on the need to reposition and reinforce the RBDAs to end up as a major economic nerve-centres of the nation.

"This is in accordance with the economic diversification policy and the change plan of the present government.

“The main objective of this scheme is massive job creation for young graduates, with all-year-round agricultural production and other value chain activities,” he said.

Adamu assured Nigerians that the scheme was laudable as it supported the vision and objectives of President Muhammadu Buhari’s plans for food security and youth empowerment.

He urged the beneficiaries and all stakeholders to provide maximum support for the scheme through their active participation in its operations and maintenance.

He added that the scheme was a tool for reducing poverty and youth restiveness in the country.

Mr Saliu Ahmed, Managing Director, Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority (RBDA), called on the Federal Government to expand the irrigation facilities in the authority’s catchment area.

He said that the RBDA had undertaken irrigation projects in Ewulu and Illah in Delta; Ukhun, Illushi-Ega-Oria in Edo; Owena Multipurpose Dam; Erusu Dam and Iju-Ita-Ogbolu in Ondo State.

Ahmed said that the Illah/Ebu irrigation project was one of the priority projects of the river basin authority.

He said that the project had a capacity of developing over 3,000 hectares of irrigable land, adding that 550 hectares had so far been developed for the cultivation of rice, water melon and cucumber.

Ahmed said it was the desire of the RBDA to increase the participants of the scheme to 1,000, calling for more support from the Federal Government.

“We need the government support to enable us to rehabilitate our broken-down tractors and acquire new ones, while procuring equipment such as rice harvesters and planters.

“We also desire to prepare farmlands to accommodate more prospective farmers,” he said.

Ahmed called on the host communities to take ownership of the project and assist in effective management of all the facilities.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that similar projects had been inaugurated in Kogi, Ogun, Zamfara, Kano, Cross River, IMO and Nasarawa States.


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