As lawmaker gives support funs to 400 petty traders
By Demola Akinyemi – Ilorin
In order to ensure food preservation and sufficiency across the country, the Federal government has completed arrangements to construct eight solar dryers with four in each of the federal constituencies as two of them have already been constructed.
Chairman, House of Reps Committee on National Planning and Economic Development, Hon Abdulganiyu Saka Cook Olododo said this yesterday in Ilorin, Kwara state capital on the sideline of the flag off of the Training on Pilot Post Seasonal Intervention Programme in his Ilorin East/Ilorin South Federal constituency held at the Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute ( NSPRI) , Ilorin.
The lawmaker also facilitated the payment of free Support funds by the Federal government, through National Directorate of Employment (NDE)to 400 women in his constituency to boost their petty trading
Olododo who said his intervention in Agriculture for 40 farmers in the constituency is a deliberate action to ensure food surplus and gainful employment for the farmers in the area added that he would fund their take-off of the agriculture after their training.
His words “Federal government is taking intervention in the agriculture sector serious now more than ever before because our dependence on oil is obviously fast waning.
The era of the oil boom is gone forever and that is why the federal is coming out up with preserving our foods by constructing Solar dryers across the country. Out of the designed Eight, already, two of the solar dryers are ready for use in the federal constituency of the state”
On the training, he said”we cannot be left behind and there is no other time than now to acquire the skills needed in Agribusiness, that is why we involved NSPRI and other consultants to train you people on post seasonal management of roots and cereals and also on how to do business in agriculture.
Olododo said that one of the strategies towards increasing food production is to empower the farmers with skills which include the modern ways of drying agricultural products and that was the reason he brought the intervention programme to his people in Ilorin East/ Ilorin South Federal Constituency.
He stated that “As part of revamping economic activities of my constituency and Kwara state, increasing agricultural production and post-harvest management would be targeted for poverty alleviation, job creation, food security, and improved livelihood.
“One of the failures of agricultural policies for addressing developmental challenges in developing countries particularly Nigeria is the lopsidedness of concentrating efforts on production at the expense of post-harvest activities.
“Yet, it is the agricultural activities such as storage and small scale processing after harvest that involves massive human engagement, which creates more small scale and family-based business.
“Therefore, if agriculture is to be used for the development of the state, effective post-harvest management and value addition must be put in a place to complement the agricultural production activities. This way, agriculture will have a direct bearing on the economic viability of the zone and be beneficial to the nation”
He enjoined the 40 participants to be serious about the training and be free to interact and ask questions.
Olododo, therefore, thanked the management of NSPRI for organizing this programme for the people and urged the people of the constituency to continue to support the government in its bid to boost the socio-economic growth of the society.
Also speaking, the Executive Director, Nigerian Stored Products and Research Institute ( NSPRI) Dr. Patricia Pessu who stressed the mandate of NSPRI on improved storage, post-harvest processing on perishable crops, storage facilities for dry product impact on the livelihood of the people, improve economic wellbeing, urged the participants to make good use of the opportunity accorded them.
In a related development, The Director-General, National Directorate of Employment,(NDE) Dr. Nasiru Muhammed Ladan while disbursing the money to beneficiaries in ilorin on Tuesday disclosed that there are so many existing schemes of the federal government to support small scale businesses and reduce poverty among the teeming populace that are lying fallow in NDE untapped because there were no efforts by the Stakeholders to access them.
According to him, “the government is poised to always be in the forefront of adding values to the society without any hindrance through avoidable strategic fundings that could change their lives for better”.
He said that: “the commitment to embark on the massive reduction of poverty among the populace was also to change the narrative of continuous dependence of populace on one another before they could meet their economic challenges”.
Represented at the event by the Kwara state coordinator of the NDE, Mr. Gabriel Adeyemo, the DG said that, “the nation’s economic growth rests on the individual efforts to develop the economic opportunities that abound in the country.
“This is the reason the NDE is always out to assist the less privileged especially the womenfolk so as to provide a leeway towards having access to funding that can boost their businesses”.
He added that “if the money is properly channelled to what it is meant for instead of social outings, there is a propensity for such business to grow and thereby adding values to families and the nation in general”
While advising the beneficiaries to shun frivolous things of life, the DG noted that the development would also help them to make use of the loan to make a higher turn over of their businesses in order to boost their socio well being.
Also speaking, the lawmaker representing Ilorin East/Ilorin south at the national assembly, Hon. Olododo said that his determination to reduce poverty and creating wealth in the constituency necessitated the facilitation of the loan scheme.
He said that “apart from legislating laws for the good people of the nation, it is the responsibility of every lawmaker to see to the new lease of life of the people of their constituents and this has prompted my desire to facilitate the funding to the people”..
Olododo however urged the beneficiaries to judiciously used the money to grow their businesses to become better people and boost the economic growth of the constituency, the state, and the nation in general.
The legislator who told the beneficiaries that the money personally belongs to them, as they were not sent to distribute the same to anyone, assured others that in about two weeks another empowerment scheme that would benefit them will take place.