Charity Simon, Abuja
Federal Government has reassured Nigerians of its determination to meet the demand for food and jobs amidst rising frustration, overty and hunger occasioned by its policies.
It gave the assurance as it flagged off its Graduates Youths Empowerment Scheme in the country.
Flagging off the empowerment scheme in crop production and fish farming at Kampe Irrigation Scheme at Ejiba in Kogi State, Thursday (July 28, 2016), Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman H. Adamu, said the scheme would be driven by the ministry in conjunction with the 12 River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) across the country.
A statement signed by the Director (Information & Public Relations) at the ministry, Margaret Umoh, quoted the minister as saying that the project would be modeled after the Songhai Farm Nigeria Ltd.
The scheme, according to the Minister, is continuous and would be in batches of 50. He said it was designed to reach all 109 senatorial districts of the country with a job target of 5,450 opportunities.
Adamu said 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 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.
The minister 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 utilize federal government investments in the project just as he called on beneficiaries to ensure that the potentials inherent in the scheme are properly utilized for their socio-economic advancement.
Managing Director of Lower Niger River Basin Development Authority, Engr. Niyi Jimoh Afolayan, who also spoke at the event, said the RBDAs have been repositioned and restructured to serve as veritable vehicle to drive the scheme to success.
He explained that the Kampe Irrigation Scheme 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.