The Oyo State Government has unveiled a new agriculture scheme under which participants, mostly youths, will earn N10,000 monthly as a major employment drive.
Tagged the Oyo State Agricultural Revolution Programme, the governor said that the programme would commence by next month with training for the beneficiaries in Awe Farm Settlement.
The governor disclosed this while addressing traders and artisans who converged on the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba, Ibadan, on Thursday, to honour him with the “The great visionary leader’’ award.
At the ceremony, which was organised by the state branch of National Association of Patent and Proprietary Medicine Dealers, the Wife of the Governor, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, was also conferred with the “Woman of noble character’’ award.
Ajimoni stressed that the selected youths would be paid a stipend of N10,000 per month for the duration of the training after which they would be assisted with the needed inputs to start their own businesses.
The governor said, “Starting from next month, our agric revolution that will create massive employment opportunities will berth and it will begin with a training programme at our farm settlement in Awe for our youths who are interested in agriculture.
“They will be trained in modern farming technology and be paid N10,000 monthly stipend for the duration of their training.
“It is our belief that engagement of youths in agriculture at this moment of recession will serve the dual purposes of maintaining peace and developing their economic power.”
At the event, the governor also announced a fresh N100m loan for traders and artisans in the state, in addition to the N880m disbursed to members of the association in the past.
He promised that the government would continue to assist them through regular disbursement of revolving loans as part of his administration’s agenda to rejig the economy of the state.
The event was attended by the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji; Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; Eleruwa of Eruwa, Oba Samuel Adegbola; an industrialist, Chief Kola Daisi; Ambassador Olusola Sanu and members of Ibadan Elders’ Forum, among others.
The governor acknowledged the support of the traders and artisans for his administration as well as their contributions towards the economic development of the state.
He recalled that a revolving loan of N350 million was disbursed by his government to seven professional associations in 2014 at N50 million per association, adding that a total of 7,000 traders and artisans benefitted from the loan at N50,000 per person.
The governor, who said that a total sum of N880 million revolving loan had so far been disbursed to the traders, added that more loans would be given to them to boost their businesses.
The governor said, “Traders in Oyo State have not had it this good. We disbursed N350million to seven traders’ association in 2014 and they have been paying back the loan.
“I want to assure our traders that they will continue to enjoy the dividends of democracy because you are playing a major role in the socio-economic development of Oyo State. We appreciate your support towards entrenching a better Oyo State.’’
The State Chairman of NAPPDEM, Alhaji Abiodun Ashiru, said that the association decided to honour the governor because of what he called his ‘historical feats’ in entrenching peace and security which had hitherto eluded the state.
He also commended the governor for carrying out policies and programmes, which, he said, had promoted economic, social and infrastructural development in the state.
“Nothing good comes easy, but the governor has made us to realise why we should persevere in the face of policy change so as to reap good yields.
“The award is our way of acknowledging the governor’s efforts and to spur him into greater accomplishments for the overall good of the people of the state.”