From Uche Usim, Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye and Nsisong Morgan, Abuja
To ensure that more youths are withdrawn from the streets and gainfully, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has tasked governors to create jobs using agriculture and agriculture value-chain services.
He gave the charge when he had audience with some select governors in his office at the Presidential Villa.
Jigawa State Governor, Abubakar Badaru and his Kebbi State counterpart, Atiku Bagudu, disclosed this to State House Correspondents after the meeting yesterday.
Badaru said: “The meeting was about job creation using agriculture and agriculture value-chain. We discussed how to mobilise youths to go into agriculture and agricultural services, including production, retailing and wholesale.
“There is a new decision that states should endeavour to support the federal government,or go into partnership with the federal government to empower the youths in agriculture and agriculture value-chain.”
On his part, Governor Bagudu said: “The potentialities of agriculture have been recognised. Land and people are in the states. Partnership between the federal and state government will do more and that has been recognised.
“We reviewed the progress achieved and what can be done, particularly, to create new jobs, and we have been charged, all states, to see what we can do; so, in the next couple of weeks, we will have an action plan,” he stated.
Similarly, vice president Osinbajo has tasked the Board of Governors for ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) to plan towards job creation and economic diversification via agriculture and other areas.
Speaking yesterday at the 15th ordinary session of EBID in Abuja, Osinbajo said all hands must be on deck to develop the region considering the growing population of young people on the continent.
He said millions of ECOWAS citizens were anxious about developmental programmes and interventions that will erase poverty and inequality in the region.
He said: “Since oil prices cannot be guaranteed, we need to redirect our efforts to industrialisation, agriculture and other areas with a view to expanding the economy to the benefit of the people.
“However, the bank has since its auspicious founding proved to be one of the wisest and best foresighted decisions taken by ECOWAS since its inception as sub regional financial institution whose primary mission is to contribute to the integration and economic development of the 15 member states by investing both in private and public sectors.
“The bank must be commended for its catalytic role in energy, infrastructure and banking development. The bank contributed to the funding of Tinapa in Cross River State of Nigeria. Tinapa remains one of the most visionary projects designed to make Cross River State an international, commercial and one of the best tourism hubs. The bank also supported a major electricity project in Conakry in Guinea, linking Côte d’Ivoire, where it guaranteed a CFA10 billion bond issue for port of Dakar and creation of an investment banking. The bank also demonstrated remarkable resourcefulness at the height of many conflicts in our sub region to established a conflict resolution fund.”
The Vice President, however, admonished the bank to work harder in meeting its set goals as its role in the current economy remains crucial.