Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Senator Kola Balogun, representing Oyo South senatorial district in the National Assembly, has said that the ninth senate will ensure resuscitation of an abandoned agricultural business capable of generating 148,000 jobs for Nigerian youths.
The proposal for the project was said to have been written by the Director-General, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr. Nteranya Sanginga, which was sent to the former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, about two years ago.
The proposal was for training and empowerment of 1,000 Agric-prenuers per state and Abuja, making a total of 37,000. Each of the 1,000 youths is also expected to empower three other persons, that will work with him or her in the agri-business, making a total of 148,000.
Balogun disclosed this during an interview with journalists in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, on his victory at the Court of Appeal over a former governor of the state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, over February 23, 2019, National Assembly poll in the state.
According to him, he had already booked an appointment with IITA before the judgment day was fixed and the news of his victory came to him on Friday when he was at a meeting with directors in the institute on how Oyo South would partner IITA to generate jobs for members of his district and boost their economic powers.
“We are trying to partner with IITA, and see how we can leverage on Oyo State and Oyo South senatorial district potentials for agriculture, to train our youth and empower them, to ensure that we use the platform to create wealth, to generate employment, to support our women, and to ensure that prosperity is brought back to Oyo State.
“Oyo State Government representative was also at the meeting in IITA because we are going to have a synergy. Oyo State Government has a partnership with IITA and as a senatorial district, we are also having a partnership with them. We are going to work together.
“This visit avails me the opportunity to know more about the operations of IITA and I am particularly motivated by the proposal for training and empowerment of 1,000 Agric-prenuer per state and Abuja, which has been abandoned by the former Minister of Agriculture.
“The proposal is to train and empower 1000 youths per state, who will empower at least three other youths each. I instantly made a commitment to work with senate committees on agriculture, finance and even the Senate President on how the National Assembly can partner with the IITA, Ministry of Agriculture and African Development Bank on how to move a motion that will expedite this proposal and ensure its smooth execution.
“This Ninth Assembly is committed to empowering the Nigerian youths and we would use our legislative powers and influence to ensure this government creates wealth and employment. We have broken the partisan barriers to ensure we all justify the mandates given to us by our people and we will work tirelessly to make it happen.”