The Kogi State Government has concluded plans to empower another set of 700 youth across seven Local Government Areas in its pilot Agricultural Empowerment Scheme.
Briefing newsmen in Lokoja on Saturday, the Director General on Media and Publicity to the Governor, Kingsley Fanwo said the Governor has approved funds for the scheme that will turn 700 youth to millionaires through agriculture.
“As the flagpole of youth in governance in Nigeria, Governor Yahaya Bello has perfected plans to employ thousands of youth in the state via agriculture. “The first phase of the scheme is expected to kick off in the next one week.
The State Government has taken a bold step by procuring agricultural equipment such as tractors, planters and harvesters, to rejig our leading position in agriculture. “Under the scheme, the State Government will open up hundreds of thousands of hectares of land, allocate the land to beneficiaries with improved species of cassava and rice. Government will also serve as off-takers in order to guarantee market for the products.
“As a visionary government, we are aware of the need to fix our rural roads to make agriculture seamless. The Governor Yahaya Bello administration has imported State-of-the-art earth moving equipment to empower the Kogi State Road Maintenance Agency to fix rural roads.
“The Governor has reiterated his determination to make agriculture the driver of the state’s economy and has therefore given the State Ministry of Agriculture the necessary support to sustain his administration’s policies and programs on agriculture as a Thematic Area of the New Direction Agenda”.
Fanwo said government will continue to welcome investors into the state, assuring them of safety. “The Governor has not hidden the fact that agriculture is the oil well of Kogi State. Government is committed to security of lives and property across the state. Investors will be given the necessary support and incentives to come and help harness the opportunities that abound in the state.
“Our Investment Promotion Agency is getting the necessary attention to help ease the process of investing in Kogi State. We are on the right track to make Kogi great”. He enjoined youth in the state to take advantage of the scheme and become “wealth creators and responsible contributors to the greatness of Kogi State”, saying, “learning how to fish is more dignifying and honourable than waiting for free fish all the time”.
“We want to assure the people of Kogi State that the present administration will continue to promote prosperity, unity and the tenacity of purpose to remove Kogi from the dark history of the past”, he said. It would be recalled that the Kogi State Government has invested massively on the Omi Rice Mill which is near completion.
Government says the Rice Mill and the Omi Agricultural Project will help meet the national demand for rice.