The Federal Government, through the Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI), has said that it would empower members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) that are ready to venture into agriculture after their one year mandatory service with the sum of two million naira.
The was disclosed by the Executive Director, of Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute, Dr. Patricia Pessu on Monday while speaking at a workshop on value addition of agricultural commodities for 40 corps members selected from the 16 local government areas of Kwara State.
Dr. Pessu said the two corps members, who completed their service in Oyo and Abia states respectively, had begun to benefit from the programme, noting that they were selected from the last batch of trainees at NSPRI.
The NSPRI boss decried the increasing rate of unemployment in Nigeria, and added that two million naira await any trainee of the current batch who submitted a promising proposal at the end of the service year.
“To put things into context, Nigeria’s unemployed youth of 13.9 million is more than the population of Rwanda and several other African countries.
“This youth population is also about 64 per cent of total unemployed Nigerians, suggesting that the most agile working class population in the country remains unemployed.”
Meanwhile, the NYSC State Coordinator in Kwara, Mrs. Francisca Olaleye, commended the agency for the opportunity given to corps members, and gave assurance that the beneficiaries would justify the gesture given to them.
Declaring the workshop open, the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muritala Olanrewaju, said government had promised to consolidate commercial agriculture through the provision of adequate machinery to assist genuine farmers in advancing their productivity, profitability and competitiveness.
Olarewaju disclosed that the state government was repositioning the agricultural sector from being a mass social service to a profitable agro-business aimed at providing technical and environmental friendly agriculture practice.