Kwara state lawmakers approve N1b loan for Agricultural empowerment 

Tunde Akanbi,Ilorin 

Kwara State House of Assembly has approved the loan of One billion naira for agricultural empowerment and economic diversification in the state.
This followed the consideration of a message from Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, soliciting the house`s approval to access One billion naira under the Anchor Borrowers Programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria against the next farming season.
Governor Ahmed in the letter expressed the determination of the State Government to focus on agriculture as key driver of the state’s economy and catalyst for industrialization, economic emancipation as well as sustainable tools for women and youth empowerment.
The Governor explained that the state is ecologically endowed with advantage to grow maize, soya beans, rice and cassava.
In their deliberations, the legislators noted that economic diversification, especially into agriculture cannot be over emphasized stressing that farming has become an indispensable vocation all over the country.
They however stressed the need to properly investigate how the initial one billion naira was disbursed, adding that a comprehensive list of farmers who benefitted from each constituency in State should be compiled.

In another development, the Kwara State House of Assembly has called on craftsmen and women in the state who make all forms of usable materials to register free of charge with the Clerk of the House to enable them display such wears for sale at the Assembly Complex.
This was sequel to a motion without notice title “Empowering Kwara Entrepreneurs through Patronage” which was moved by the House Leader and Member representing Essa/Shawo/Igboidun Constituency, Alhaji Hassan Oyeleke.
Alhaji Oyeleke said that it has become imperative for indigenes of  Kwara and Nigerians to look inward and patronize their own products so as to create employment opportunity and strengthen the naira.
The motion which had the support of all the members at the plenary, if scaled through, will increase creativity in the craftsmen and women in the state and the nation at large.           The members said the initiative will serve as a form of empowerment for the electorate and reawaken them to a means of livelihood.

Reading the resolution, the speaker, Doctor Ali Ahmad, said the House has set aside the last Wednesday of every month for makers of cap, clothes, shoes and other usable items to display them for sale.
Doctor Ahmad who observed that the country is richly blessed with beautiful attires and artifacts, implored craftsmen and women in the state to produce them in high quality so as to gain patronage against foreign ones and urged Nigerians to patronize indigenous products to enhance economic growth.

Ime Njoku