In a concerted effort to create jobs for youths in Nigeria, the Federal Government has partnered with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Niger Delta Commission (NDDC) to launch the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises Project in the Niger Delta (LIFE-ND).
At the formal launch of the initiative in Port Harcourt, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono disclosed that the project will be carried out to benefit nine oil-producing states by implementing and financing a 12 years project cycle.
He listed the states to include: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers state.
In his words, “The project is part of the Federal Government’s drive to diversify the nation’s export earnings as well as alter its economic growth strategy. The project’s objective is to enhance income generation, food security and job creation for rural youths and women through agro-enterprise development.”
The Minister who was represented by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mohammed Umar stated that the Federal Government has identified cassava, plantain, rice, fish, cocoa, oil palm and poultry as the agricultural commodities for the implementation of LIFE-ND.
On her part, NDDC Director of Agriculture and Fisheries, representative, Mrs. Nunieh said that the commission has made provision of $30 million to fund the project, adding that it will improve productivity, access to advisory services and enable beneficiaries to make a profit in their businesses.
Speaking also, Country Director of IFAD, Nadine Gbossa, stated that the initiative would create opportunities for the people, particularly the youth and women in the communities.
She said, “LIFE-ND will enable the people to improve production and productivity, access to advisory services and link them to stems to make a profit in their business.”