The Nasarawa State government is collaborating with the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) to create gainful employment for youths across the state who will be trained and given finance to engage in agribusiness.
Nasarawa State governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, while welcoming a special delegation from NIRSAL at the Government House on Tuesday, said the collaboration will seek to address the challenges of unemployment in the state especially among youths.
The governor pointed out that even though Nasarawa State is among the few states confronted with the challenges of unemployment particularly among the youths, the state is however blessed from all directions when it comes to agriculture, which explains the need for a collaboration with NIRSAL
Addressing representatives of the state government that will go into a technical session with the special delegation from NIRSAL today, Engineer Sule urged the government officials to take the collaboration seriously so as to ensure that agriculture becomes a business in the state.
He insisted that there should be a huge representation from the youth who are going to benefit from the scheme.
“We want to keep our youths active, we want to keep them in business, so that they can remain in business, they can have something to do, earn income and have independence,” he stated.
While cautioning that the loan to be secured for the project must not be seen as “another dividends of democracy”, Engineer Sule further charged the government officials to be committed and devoted to the task ahead of them so that the state will benefit at the end.
Earlier, in an opening remark, leader of the delegation, Mr. Sheriff Salawu, Head Collaboration and Partnership at NIRSAL said the where in the state based on the interest Engineer Sule has shown in the activities of the corporation, stressing that NIRSAL was in Nasarawa State to not only support farmers but also ensure there is development in agribusiness.
“No more as agriculture but as a business so that more people will be lifted above the poverty level and also see it as a business and pass it from generation to generation,” Salawu stated.
Salawu disclosed that his team were in the state to have a technical session where they will be able to see the opportunities available, match it with their tools, techniques, methodologies and processes (TTM&P), with a view to seeing how the session can put together a working, implementable document that will enhance agribusiness in the state.
The technical session is scheduled to hold today at the conference hall of the Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, with representatives from farmers groups, youths, as well as members of the civil society also in attendance.
Recall that NIRSAL, an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bankers Committee (BC)
and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMA&RD), was incorporated as a public limited liability company and licensed as a non-bank financial institution, tasked with primary mandate of facilitating the flow of credit to agribusinesses value chain players and collaborating with stakeholders to fix broken agricultural value chains across the country.
The technical session is a follow up on the negotiation by Engineer Sule after he visited NIRSAL head office in Abuja, based on information he received from a presentation by the CBN Governor on the activities of the corporation.