By; ODEYEMI SAMUEL, Akure
The Federal Government has empowered 135 farmers in Ondo State with the presentation of cheques worth over N564 million for the establishment of egg production across the state.
To achieve this, the FG is partnering with National Egg Production Scheme (NEGPRO), to create jobs for the teaming Youths across the country.
Speaking at the flagg off of the programme at Aaye, a community along Ijare road, the Honourable Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to ending hunker and unemployment in the nation through agriculture and diversification of the nation’s economy.
He blamed the present youth unemployment, illegal immigration and Youth restlessness on long neglect of agriculture.
” We have neglected agriculture for too long because of oil and gas. Now, our Youths are jobless because we have imbibed the culture of doing nothing.
The Egg production scheme he said, will Youths from walking into voluntary slavery in Libya, South Africa and other countries in the world because no other sector can provide the jobs agriculture could provide”, he said.
Speaking further, the Minister lauded Governor Akeredolu for his intentions to revive cocoa production.
He how ever ever advised the people of the State especially, the youths to key into the programme as this would help reduce the dangling weight of discord and violence caused by idleness in Nigeria.
In his address, Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, described the Federal Government’s strides towards agricultural rejuvenation in the country as a welcomed development, stating that his administration was fully prepared to partner with the Ministry of Agriculture in every possible way to ensure adequate implementation of the programme.
Governor Akeredolu how ever used the opportunity to highlight major Agro-based projects of the State which include the proposed 42 billion Naira Egg Powder Factory in Emure billed to kick off on 22nd February, 2018.
The almost completed Chocolate Factory which the current Administration inherited from the immediate past government; and the Youth on the Ridges project, he said, is aimed at engaging 18,000 youths across the State.
To this end, the Governor mentioned that five secondary schools, in each Local Government Area of the State, have been selected for the pilot scheme of the project.
Akeredolu how ever charged the people to take the agriculture scheme seriously as the only solution to unemployment problems.
Agriculture, he said, will replace the jobs lost due to the current decline of oil price in the global market.
On the present challenge of the menace of herdsmen invasion of farms and consequent destruction of farm products across the country, the Governor assured that his Administration would take decisive actions to quell the perpetration of such audious crimes.
He therefore advised the people to go about their daily businesses without any fear of attack.
” Our state has had her own share of the crisis but not on horrendous scale whose odious effect continues to reverberates throughout the country.
“Our Administration is taking proactive steps to ensure that this obnoxious phenomenon is nipped in the bud. While we encourage all those with legitimate intentions to visit our Space, we intend to clear the doubt of anyone who may wish to perpetrate crime under nebulous guises.
“We will not tolerate any act of brigandage. We will defend the right of our people to engage in farming without let or hindrance of any sort. We will sanction with impassioned severity any acts which seek to tilt the balance of harmonious co-existence in the State towards anarchy. The full weight of the law will be brought to bear on criminal elements”, the Governor added.
High point of the event was the presentation of a Cheque for 564 million Naira to the 135 benefiting farmers of the scheme.