Joe Effiong, Uyo,
The Federal Government through the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), has trained 50 Akwa Ibom State indigenes on agriculture under its Sustainable Agricultural Development Training Scheme (SADTS).
The SADTS is part of the Rural Employment Promotion (REP), which is one of the core programme departments of the NDE. The programme is geared towards generating rural employment and improving incomes through agribusiness engagements, among other objectives.
The 50 beneficiaries in the state are part of the 1,850 others across the 36 states of the federation.
Speaking during the orientation ceremony of the Sustainable Agricultural Development Training Scheme (SADTS) in Uyo, recently, Director-General, NDE, Mr. Nasiru Mohammed Ladan, said that the programme was part of the Federal Government’s effort to alleviate poverty in the country.
Ladan, who was represented at the event by an NDE staff, Miss Ann Eyo-Ita, urged the participants to take the training seriously as they were expected to pass down the knowledge to others after the training.
He stressed the importance of agriculture in a nation’s economy and urged Nigerians start to think towards investing in the sector.
“You have been very lucky to be picked for this training out of many that applied for it. I therefore urge you to take this training seriously; to make sure you make something good out of it afterwards. You shouldn’t come out and become job seekers but creators,” he noted.
Mr. Peter Umana, State Chairman, Association of Heads of Federal Establishments, in his keynote address, said that petroleum, which he said, is Nigeria’s only source of revenue, was fast losing value, admonishing that government should invest more in agriculture.
Umana advised the beneficiaries to view agriculture as a very profitable business that could take them from poverty to a life of riches, charging them to take the vocation seriously.
“Apart from the fact that oil wells are drying up, petroleum products are losing value the world over because in China and other leading countries, they are looking for other sources of energy. Imagine what will happen to us as a country if we keep depending on crude oil when the shift finally happens.”
State coordinator, NDE, Mr. Promise Ekah, said the programme was geared towards generating employment, creating wealth, as well as reducing poverty, which he said were the core mandate of the directorate.
While saying that the target for the training were the unemployed youths, Ekah explained that the orientation ceremony was necessary to intimate the participants on the rules and regulations of the programme.
“We have done this over the years in the state and I use this opportunity to call on stakeholders and corporate bodies to join this bandwagon which empowers the unemployed economically and curtail youth restiveness,” he said.
A participant, Nelson Isong, who spoke on behalf of others, expressed gratitude to government for organising the training and pledged that they would make the most of the opportunity they had been given.
He said “on behalf of my colleagues here, I want to say a very big thank you to the federal government of Nigeria for this opportunity. I know that we will make this country proud after this training.”