Samuel Bello, Abuja
The Federal Government, yesterday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to raise rural income, discourage rural-urban drift, create self-sufficiency, improve internal economic yield whole boosting the competitiveness of Nigerian exports.
The agreement was between the Climate Smart Community Agro-Based Resources Centres (CSCABRC) and Agro and Allied Green Technology Resource Centre Limited (AAGTRCL) at the Ministry of Science and Technology in Abuja.
The Permanent Secretary, Bitrus Nabasu, while appreciating the signed agreement, said it was made possible through the Biotech Department of the ministry.
He said, “the Ministry, through the department of biotech resources entered into a discussion to engage agencies under the purview of the ministry in an initiative that will help arrest poverty, create employment and generate wealth especially for our teeming youths.
“This event is coming at the right time when Nigeria is seeking the domestication of proven technologies and support the growth of our local industry and markets. There is no gainsaying Nigeria is on the path to fund security and economic growth.”
Nabasu said the objective of the MOU is to have a common interest that develops a program that will deploy available technologies within the ministry and agencies to develop the research to create jobs and develop a green light structure through community-based agro and allied centers across Nigeria.
Managing Director of AAGTRCL, Dr. Emeka Okengwu, stated that the introduction of technology into the agro allied sector by the ministry will create over 30 million jobs.
Okengwu said that the technology will not only reduce the stress associated with farming but will generate millions of jobs for both the country, youths and aged ones.
“Our quest in resolving this challenge led us to knowledge that the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST) through it’s agencies, have developed, acquired and piloted various technologies with substantial capacities to fast track development of rural communities in Nigeria in line with Mr. President’s Next Level Programme.
“However, some if not most of these proven technologies developed with the funding support from the federal government are yet to benefit from widespread patronage nationwide, either by the private sector or government at all levels”.
Fielding questions from journalists, he said, “if we had a centre of excellence in every political ward in Nigeria and I think we have about 8,600 plus something and then you have each centre of excellence to be supported with luckily developed acquired technologies.
“Just imagine only 5,000 people in the value chain. If you multiply that; it is going to be giving you immediate 43million jobs, which is thirty-three million jobs on top of even the 13million jobs that the president is proposing.”