- AfDB Votes $300 Million to Train, Empower 1,000 Imo Young Graduates
The African Development Bank (AfDB) in partnership with the Federal Government and the Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan (IITA), has concluded plans to train and empower over 1,000 Imo State young graduates on agriculture.
The training would be executed under the ‘Enable Youths Programme’ of the Bank.A Director in the bank, Dr. Chiji Ojukwu, said the bank’s authorities have provided a whopping sum of over $300 million for the project.
Ojukwu, who was accompanied by some officials of the bank and IITA on a courtesy call on Governor Rochas Okorocha at Government House, Owerri at the weekend, said two institutions in the state selected as Incubation and Training centres of the selected youths from 27 Local Councils are the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede and Imo Polytechnic, Umuagwo, adding that initial 25 youths in what he called, ‘Pilot session’ would be trained at the centres, after which they train other 1,000.
According to him, the project incorporated in the Federal Government’s Agric Business Grant Scheme, has been designed to enhance food security and reduce unemployment among the youths in Africa.
His words: ‘’We are trying to promote youths to come into Agric business, the whole of Africa. So the AfDB, working with IITA, Ibadan, decided to set up an ‘Enable Youths Programme where we are trying to support young people to go into Agric business. Here in Nigeria, we provided some resources to the Federal Government to support them in every state, to empower about 1,000 youths so that most of them can be trained in incubation centres.”
Ojukwu said at the end of the training session, takeoff resources would be given to the trainees from the over $300 million earmarked.The IITA, he disclosed, has had the designed 2012 programme implemented in 21 countries, noting that the institute had proved capability of building capacity of the young ones and create value chain.
Speaking, Okorocha said quick steps should be taken in tackling the unemployment challenges among the youths, urging that farm implements, including fertilizers be provided for the selected youths.
The governor regretted that the mindset of the people, especially the young ones, was the bane of the nation, noting that there was poverty of the mind and not the nation.