Niger Govt. Earmarks N3.5bn Agric Development Fund To Boost Green Economy

By Mohammed Baba Busu

The Niger Government has earmarked N3.5 billion to establish a state Agric Development Fund as incentives for youths to engage in agro-business.

A statement by Bologi Ibrahim, Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Mohammed Umaru-Bago, on Tuesday in Minna, said the Governor announced this during a technical session of the First Niger Green Economy Summit.

The governor’s spokesman explained that the state government would on its part, contribute N1 billion to the development fund, to kickstart the project.

Bago added that all the state’s 25 local government chairmen would support the fund with N100 million each.

He said the first 1,000 youths that would key into the vision would benefit by receiving N1 million each as a grant.

“The N3.5 billion to be realised will be used to purchase seedlings for the youth to go back to farming,” the statement said.

The statement further said that Agricultural Extension Colleges would also be established in all 25 Local Governments with about four hectares of land to be cleared for nurseries.

The statement said while Bago acknowledged the importance of geo-mapping, he sought collaboration with relevant organisations like the NNPC, in addressing climate change and other environmental hazards.

It said the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mele Kyari, represented at the event by the Vice President, Gas, Power and New Energy, Mr Olalekan Ogunleye, pledged support to the state government in its quest to have a Green Economy.

“NNPC is set to collaboratively give indirect jobs to 500,000 Nigerlites,” Ogunleye said.

Also, the Chief Whip of, the House of Representatives, Usman Kumo, pledged to support the state’s Green Economy.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the highlight of the session was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the state government and the “One Hectare, One Family Foundation”.

The MoU was on the provision of one million Banana seedlings to the state.

The event also featured presentations, panel discussions, as well as questions and answers. (NAN)