Niger Delta Affairs Ministry, BOA to empower 130 Niger Delta youths


The  Minister  of  Niger Delta  Affairs,  Usani  Uguru  Usani  has disclosed in  Benin City, Edo  State  during  a  working  visit  to  the  Governor  of  Edo  State, Adams  Oshiomhole (Comrade) that  the   Ministry  has  finalized  arrangements  in  collaboration  with  the  Bank  of  Agriculture to  empower  the 130  Niger  Delta  youths   trained  in  varied aspects  of  Agriculture  in  Israel  in  2014  with  loan.

Usani Uguru paid  the  working  visit  on  the  governor  before  declaring   open  a  two -day workshop  in  Benin City  for  some beneficiaries in the Niger  Delta  region drawn  from  Abia,  Akwa Ibom,  Bayelsa,  Cross  River,  Delta,  Edo,  Imo,  Ondo and  Rivers States. He noted that  the  Ministry  is collaborating  with  the  Bank  of  Agriculture  to  provide  the  fund  as  loan  to  the  beneficiaries, indicating that  the  loan  is  to  empower  the  youths  to  practice  the  various  skills that they have learnt  in  Agriculture  in  Israel.

“The Bank  of  Agriculture  will  provide  the  sum  of  Two Hundred  Million  Naira (N200m)  for  the  empowerment  programme and each beneficiary  will  receive  a  loan  of  One  Million  Naira (N1m)   as  start – off  fund. The Bank  of  Agriculture  would  guide  the  beneficiaries  on  what  to  do  before  they  could  access  the  loan,” he  said.

“The  Ministry  and  the  Bank  of  Agriculture  would  co-ordinate, supervise  and  provide  extension  services  for  the  beneficiaries  and  the  Nigeria  Agricultural  Insurance  Scheme  would  provide  insurance  cover  for  them.”

He reiterated  that  the  idea  behind  the  youth  empowerment  programme  was  to  ensure  that  the  beneficiaries  are properly  guided  to  engage  in what  they  had  learnt  profitably; adding that the Ministry wants  people   to  benefit  from  the  system   in  line  with  the   accountability  and  transparency thrust  of  the  present  administration.

The  Minister  averred that  Benin  City in  Edo  State  was  chosen  to host  the  sensitization  programme  for  the  workshop  because  of  the  reasonable  atmosphere  of  peace.  He  said further that the  Ministry  would  continue  to  partner  with  the  government  and  people  of  Edo  State  in  its  policies  and  programmes   because  it  would  get  the  best  from there.

In  view  of  the  fact  that  the  Ministry  of  Niger  Delta  Affairs  was  paying  huge  amount  of  money  for  renting  office  accommodations  for  its  state  offices  in  all  the  nine Niger  Delta  States,  the  Minister  requested  for  allocation  of  land  from  the  Edo  State  Government  to  build  its  state  office  in Benin  City  this  year.

In  his  remarks during the event, the  Governor  of  Edo  State,  Adams  Oshiomhole  (Comrade) commended  the  Minister  of  Niger  Delta  Affairs, Usani  Uguru  Usani  for   the  youths  empowerment  programme, explaining that the  programme  would  make  the  youths  to  be  independent   and   employers  of  labour.

“The  loan  is  not  given  out  of  pity  but  to  challenge  the  youths  to  put  on  their  thinking  caps  to  succeed. This is the way   it should be. I  would  like  to  commend  you  for  packaging  the  programme. The Edo  State  Government  would  continue  to  give  the  needed  support   and  cooperation   for  the  successful  implementation  of   the  Ministry  of  Niger  Delta  Affairs  programmes, projects  and  policies  in  the  State,” the Governor hinted.

While thanking the  Managing  Director  of  the  Bank  of  Agriculture, Danbala  Danju for  the  loan  facility, he solicited  for  more  specialized  funds  to  support  the citizens,  who  are  interested  in  Agriculture. He  also  advised  that genuine  Nigerian  farmers  should  be  identified  by  the  bank  to benefit  from  such  special  funds. On  the  Minister’s  entourage  was  the  Minister  of State  for  Niger  Delta  Affairs, Claudius  Omoleye  Daramola (Prof),   the  Managing  Director  of  the  Bank  of  Agriculture, Danbala  Danju and  directors  of  the  Ministry.

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