Nigerian Finance Minister, Adeosun wants IITA, govt to rollout youth agric program nationally.   - Mega Icon Magazine
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Nigerian Finance Minister, Adeosun wants IITA, govt to rollout youth agric program nationally.  

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THE Nigerian Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, has said that the country will benefit by signing up for the African Development Bank funded ENABLE Youth (Empowering Novel Agri-Business-Led Employment) Program.

Nigeria’s signatory to the ENABLE youth program will make the oil-rich country the third African country coming behind Cameroon and Sudan to benefit from funds under the AfDB Feed Africa initiative.

The ENABLE youth program is modelled after the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Youth Agripreneur (IYA) program which has seen a lot of success.

The said program is expected to create business opportunities and decent employment for 1000 young women and men along priority agricultural value chains of various enterprises such as aquaculture, crops farming, marketing, processing, among others per state, including Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, the Director General of IITA, Dr Nteranya Sanginga disclosed.

Speaking during a visit to IITA in Ibadan, the minister said that she was inspired and impressed with the concept and the testimonials of the young agricultural entrepreneurs.

“We came here – IITA – to assess a project (ENABLE Youth) being considered by the Federal Government. From what I have seen today, I am extremely impressed and inspired! We should work on how we can roll out this project nationally,” she submitted.

Like several other African nations, Nigeria is caught in between rising youth employment and food insecurity. In 2012, Dr Sanginga initiated a youth in agriculture program to serve as a model for African nations to emulate and prosper. Under the model, youths are trained – both in theory and practice—and mentored with a view to changing their mindsets towards agriculture. In the end, they key into startups in the agricultural value chains.

Dr Sanginga hinted that the IYA model was a template that would help African countries tackle the challenge of unemployment on the continent and create wealth.

“We have tested it in IITA, Nigeria, and several countries and it is working,” he said.

Testimonials on how the IYA program is creating jobs, wealth, and transforming agriculture abound.   For Mercy Wakawa from Biu, Borno state, the training provided by IYA through N2Africa project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 2 years ago had helped her establish a medium scale groundnut oil processing industry that provides employment for seven other youths and supports the local groundnut industry.

Ajibola Olaniyi leads a team of two other young people who ventured into catfish farming. Without prior knowledge about fish farming but with support from IITA, Ajibola and her team resuscitated four abandoned ponds and later expanded to 17 with a capacity of 150 tons of fish production per year. The expansion of the business also created jobs for short-term staff who work with the team in managing the ponds. The business is growing with clients coming from the various geo-political zones in Nigeria to patronize the products.

TOFAN Foods is a subsidiary of IITA Youth Agripreneurs. The business, which is owned by three young people who were trained under the processing unit of IYA, is producing Tidbit. The snack is made from high quality cassava flour and cowpea. TOFAN Foods has been established in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, and will be scaling out the technology learned during the incubation period in IYA.

Oyindamola Asaaju, another Agripreneur, used to serve tables at a restaurant, but after getting involved with IYA, she now leads a group of Agripreneurs in Onne, Rivers State. The group is using the IITA Station in Onne to develop new agribusiness enterprises in poultry, catfish, and micropropagation of plantain, and serve as an incubation center for young people.

 

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Makinde Rues 11 Hectares Undeveloped Land At Samonda GRA

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Oyo State governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde on Friday, expressed his displeasure over the undeveloped 11 hectares of land at the highbrow Samonda GRA in Ibadan, as he called on investors to partner the State to develop the land in order to boost the State’s economy.

 

The view of the governor was expressed by the State commissioner for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Barr. Abiodun Abdu-Raheem while on inspection tour to some State’s reserved areas and Samonda Ultra-Modern shopping Complex at Ibadan North Local government in Ibadan.

 

Abiodun who noted with disdain, how over eleven hectares of land within which the ultra-modern shopping complex was situated, adding that the complex would be turned to an annex for the popular Gbagi market as the wished to turn its condition around to make it have international standard.

 

“The governor is not happy that these vast hectares of land is being put to waste when investors can be called in to use it for things that will help grow the State’s economy, we have gone around and see that the Samonda Shopping Complex needs some touch of revamping after which we will work towards making the complex an annex to the Gbagi market.

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“The Ministry will discuss with other concerned Ministries, especially those in charge of the Gbagi market to come up with a plan for proper usage of the place as the present administration will not allow any resources of the state to go to waste, we are calling on well-meaning Nigerians who are interested in partnering the State on this project to come forward with ideas on how to develop the eleven hectares of land for the benefit of the State.”

 

Barr. Abdu-Raheem called on the landlord association of the Samonda (Aerodome) GRA to desist from distorting the plan of the estate by building on waterways and areas mapped out for recreational purposes.

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Oyo Targets N20 Billion Monthly IGR – Olatunbosun

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Oyo State government has set a target of hitting 20 billion naira monthly internally-generated revenue  (IGR) before the end of the Governor Seyi Makinde’s first term in office.

The State’s IGR was reported to be between N2billion and N2.5billion during the tenure of the former governor, Abiola Ajimobi.

 

This was revealed by the State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun at a One Day Workshop for the State media officers which held at the Film Theater of the Ministry on Wednesday.

 

Olatunbosun said the four cardinal focus of the administration were education, primary healthcare, agro-business and security and all efforts were concentrated at plugging tax holes so as to increase the State’s revenue, urging the media officers to key into the agenda of governor Makinde to achieve the set target.

 

“It is the belief of Governor Seyi Makinde that Oyo State can be taken from a civil service-propelled economy to an agro-business-driven economy and before the first term of this administration runs out, we will be looking towards achieving about N20billion IGR target.

 

“You cannot enlighten people as a media practitioner if you are not enlightened, therefore the current administration believes in training of its officers to achieve maximum yield and productivity, especially for them to key into the agenda and aspirations of the government.

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“This government is pro-people and would always deal with communication from the bottom to the top, we believe in the use of town hall meetings where all stakeholders would gather and set target for government as well as give feedback on the activities of the administration.

 

“All these require government media officers to be up-to-date, diligent and efficient, they are the reasons government has embarked on training the officers in this particular cadre among others,” he noted.

 

Also at the event were the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Taiwo Adisa and the Executive Assistant to the governor on Administration, Rev. Idowu Ogedengbe, who said the State government was working towards improving human capital index of the State workers towards enhancing the economy of the State.

 

 

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Rehabilitation of the grave of a French veteran soldier

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The grave of the French veteran – Private Marange number 14503 – renovated in 2018 had been severely damaged in recent weeks.

Also, very quickly, in order to honour his memory, thanks to the assistance of the Directorate of Heritage, Memory and Archives of the Ministry of the Armed Forces, the defence mission of the French Embassy carried out a new rehabilitation of the tomb.

This veteran who died for France on June 26, 1943, is buried in the open-ended Commonwealth Military Cemetery in Eldoret, about 150 km from the Ugandan border.

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