The World Bank, through the FADAMA III Additional Financing (AFII) Programme, will soon disburse N8.6 billion to 5,916 Nigerian youths across the country in the Graduate Unemployment Youths Support Scheme (FADAMA GUYS).
Kwaji Daguru, the Chairman of FADAMA GUYS Implementation Committee, disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, Tuesday.
Daguru, who is also procurement specialist for FADAMA III (AFII) Programme, said that the programme targeted 5,916 youths in 23 states to improve the country’s agricultural production.
He said that the involvement of youths in the agricultural programme would contribute significantly to the country’s efforts to achieve food security and boost capacity building as well as employment opportunities.
The enrolment for the programme ended on May 15, 2017, with the aim of selecting the beneficiary youths would boost job creation in the 23 states.
Daguru, who said that the funds’ disbursement had yet to start, however, assured that the money earmarked for the project was intact.
He, nonetheless, said the disbursement would be made through the Grant and Funds category of the project.
“We have applied to the federal government, through federal ministry of finance for permission to reallocate funds from other categories like consultancy, training, civil work into the grant and funds category.
“Any moment from now, disbursement will take place, especially to those who would engage in rainy season agricultural activities because they have completed the grant agreement and submitted their land documents.
“The Phase One is expected to gulp about N8, 675, 013, 679.12 to fund the business plans of the 5,916 candidates in 23 states.
“If the resources permit in the last segment of the project, we will be able to upscale to other states in the second phase.’’
Daguru said: “The objective of the programme is to work with the government in three areas of job creation while building the capacity of our youths and aiding efforts to keep the foreign exchange rates low.
“We are making sure we import low quantities of rice and tomatoes while putting less pressure on our Naira (currency) so as to make our economy strong.’’
He said that the target beneficiaries were those with ages between 18 and 35 as well as graduates and undergraduates of higher institutions.
“The programme would support all aspects of agricultural production in a business or commercial manner; right from crop and livestock production, inputs support supply and advisory services.
“It would also assist extension services and post-harvest production services like storage, warehousing, marketing and products distribution,” Daguru said.
23 participating states are Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Niger, Ogun and Ondo States.
Others include Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba and Zamfara states as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).