The Nigerian government is keen on using agriculture to improve the economy and shore up food scarcity. As a result, it has plans to invest massively in agriculture.
One of the things it is doing is give civil servants training and loans to kick-start their agripreneur journey
In what could be termed an effort to combat the growing food inflation and food insecurity in Nigeria.
To make the dream come true, the federal government in partnership with the Bank of Agriculture has commenced payment of ₦2.3 million in agricultural loans.
This development is to boost and enhance food security.
87 Civil Servants Will Receive Agric Loans
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan, presented cheques to four beneficiaries from the first batch of the Agripreneurship Training Scheme.
She revealed that 87 officers participated in the initial training conducted in March 2023, with a second batch of 98 participants commencing training on November 20, 2023.
Yemi-Esan assured workers that her office was dedicated to the effective implementation of the scheme.
She explained: “The Agripreneurship Scheme aligns with the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan 2021 to 2025.
The scheme specifically focuses on the value proposition to enhance civil servants’ welfare and well-being for high-impact performance.
FG Concentrating On Agriculture
“It also corresponds with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration, concentrating on boosting agriculture to achieve food security.
“The programme offers civil servants a supplementary income window and aids retirees in transitioning post-service.
It also contributes to the development of various sectors of the economy, thereby increasing the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
“This initiative is jointly supervised by the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, the Public Service Institute of Nigeria, and the Bank of Agriculture.
“Their roles and responsibilities are clearly outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding to ensure the effective implementation of the scheme.
“The Head of Service coordinates the program, PSIN handles theoretical components, and the Bank of Agriculture provides credit facilities to eligible participants for business startup after training.
“A team of resource persons developed the curriculum.”
Also, the statement revealed that the first batch of trainees participated in a two-week intensive training at PSIN.
The training exposed them to various aspects of the agriculture value chain.
They were also said to have participated in structured hands-on training at selected farms within Abuja.
Also, these trainings align with their chosen areas of business interest.
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Bank Of Agriculture Is Offering Civil Servants A Single-digit Interest Rate
The Managing Director of the Bank of Agriculture, Alwan Hassan, said the credit facility offers a single-digit interest rate of 9% with loan repayment linked to participants’ salaries.
He commended the Head of Service for the initiative.
Furthermore, he urged civil servants to engage in agricultural business as a fallback option in retirement.