To curb unemployment and boost food production in Ogun State, 200 unemployed graduates have been offered loans totalling N74.4m under the Fadama III agricultural programme of the Federal Government.
According to a statement, the youths were presented with the cheques on Thursday by the state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, after their training.
The governor said the beneficiaries would be incorporated into the Anchor Borrowers’ Scheme, whereby they would be given free land with certificates of occupancy issued in their names.
Abiodun said the beneficiaries’ land would not only be cleared free, they would also be given seedlings and fertiliser, as well as extension service.
“Already, we have secured people who would buy the farm produce and it is a win-win situation as the loans on offer carry single-digit interest,” he said.
The governor implored the beneficiaries – selected from the state’s 20 local government areas – to utilise the funds effectively in order to achieve the programme’s objectives.
According to the statement, the beneficiaries were trained in rice processing, poultry, fishery, among others.
He also said his administration would enrol 40,000 youths in the Anchor Borrowers’ Scheme with support from the World Bank and the Central Bank of Nigeria.
In his remarks, the consultant to the state governor on agriculture, Dr Adetunji Oredipe, said the Fadama project had provided an opportunity to strengthen the drive for economic diversification.
The National Project Coordinator, Fadama Guys, Mr Balarabe Abdulrahman, represented by Mr Adeleke Adeyemi, commended the Ogun State government for its support and keen interest in the Fadama III project.