Nigeria Targets Five Million Jobs with $1.2b Scheme

 Nigeria Targets Five Million Jobs with $1.2b Scheme

THE Federal Government is targeting five million jobs with its new agricultural revolution tagged: “The Green Imperative”.

It plans to invest some $1.2 billion in the scheme, which has it said will inject $10 billion into the economy within the next 10 years.

According to the government, the scheme will attract six tractor assembly plants in the nation’s geopolitical zones and 142 agro processing service centres.

It said the scheme will be implemented over a period of 5-10 years with foreign funding which was described yesterday as “loan-in-kind”.

Information, Culture and Tourism Minister Lai Mohammed and Agriculture and Rural Development counterpart Sabo Nanono gave the details on the programme at a joint briefing in Abuja.

Mohammed said: “The stage is now set for an agricultural revolution that will strengthen food security, create massive jobs, transfer technology, revive or reinvigorate many assembly plants, strengthen the economy, save scarce resources, mechanised farming and lead to the emergence of value-added agriculture, among other benefits.

“The Vice President launched “The Green Imperative” programme officially on 17 January, 2019 in the presence of the representatives of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Deutsche Bank as well as Brazilian and Nigerian private sector.

“The programme, worth $1.2 billion, is to be implemented over a period of 5-10 years with funding from the Development Bank of Brazil (BNDES) and Deutsche Bank; with insurance provided by Brazilian Guarantees and Fund Managements Agency (ABGF) and the Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Export Credit (ICIEC) of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), and coordinated by Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV).

“Now, how will this programme revolutionise agriculture in Nigeria, you may ask?

“The Green Imperative” programme will lead to the following:

  • Reactivation of six motor assembly plants in the six-geopolitical zones of the country for assembling tractors and other implements. The programme will import the Completely Knocked Down (CKD) parts of about 5,000 tractors and numerous implements (for local assembly) annually for a period of 10 years.
  • Establishment of 142 agro processing service centres for value addition, with one centre in each senatorial district.
  • Establishment of 632 mechanisation service centres to support primary production in the 774 local government areas and the Federal Capital Territory. This will create 774 service centers nationwide to mechanize our farming methods and process or add value to farm produce locally, leading to efficiency and eliminating post-harvest losses, thereby cutting down cost of food all year round.
  • Private sector operators will operate and manage all the service centres and the assembly plants.
  • The programme will create about five million jobs and inject over $10 billion into the economy within 10 years. It will create sustainable supply chain of agricultural raw materials for our large manufacturing companies to source locally, thereby saving billions of dollars in food-related forex.”

The minister highlighted other benefits accruable from the programme as training 100,000 extension workers within three years; impacting over 35 million persons nutritionally and economically; revatilisation of research and extension service delivery through a five-year technology-package transfer component; and  transfer of technology from Brazil’s manufacturers and institutions to Nigeria.

Ayomide Oyewole

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