Nigerian government has reassured Nigerians of its determination n and commitment to provide food and jobs for the teeming population of the country as it flags off the first Graduates Youths Empowerment Scheme in the country.
Flagging off the empowerment scheme in crop production and fish farming in Kampe Irrigation Scheme in Ejiba, Kogi State North-Central Nigerian Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Suleiman Adamu said that the scheme would be driven by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources in conjunction with the 12 River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) across the country and would be modelled after the Songhai Farm Nigeria Ltd.
The scheme according to the Minister which is a continuous one in batches of 50 would be cascaded to all the 109 senatorial districts of the country and would create jobs for over 5,450 Nigerians.
Adamu noted that the Federal Government is committed to the successful implementation of the scheme across the country through the RBDAs as it would promote sustainable water resources and irrigated agricultural development which will ensure a national food security, employment generation and others.
“As a way of facilitating the smooth take off of the scheme, Government intends to assist the RBDAs to procure new equipment of the scheme”, he said.
He added that the RBDAs should as a matter of policy adhere strictly to the terms and conditions contained in the MoU that was signed between the Federal Government and the Songhai Farm Ltd.
He charged governments at all levels to key into the scheme in order to utilise the significant investment government is putting in. He also called on the beneficiaries to ensure that the potentials inherent in the scheme are properly utilised for their socio-economic advancement.
The Managing Director of Lower Niger River Basin Development Authority, Engr. Niyi Jimoh Afolayan said that the RBDAs has been repositioned and restructured by the government and can now serve as veritable vehicle to drive the scheme to success.
He explained that the Kampe Irrigation Scheme of the Authority was chosen as a flag-off point because of the available land of about 7,200ha of which about 1,600ha is fully developed with necessary irrigation facilities and a market centre to provide sales outlet for the produce.