The federal government through its agency in collaboration with the Abia State government has concluded plans to provide employment for 3000 Abia youths.
The youths are geared to start work in December this year when the abandoned Ogwe Golden farm will become operational.
It could be recalled that the administration of President Muhammdau Buhari at the heat of the global economic downturn has been advocating for diversification of the economy and has since identified agriculture as the alternative source of revenue to oil which its price at the global oil market has continued to nose-dive.
Infonet9ja.com gathered that Abia State Government and the federal government through the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA)signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the hope of reactivating the popular Ogwe Golden Chicken Farms in Ukwa West LGA of the state which has over the years been lying fallow.
Although the collapse of the Ogwe Chicken Fram was not the creation of the incumbent Peoples Democratic party’s (PDP), it was gathered that mismanagement of funds and resources were part of the reasons the farm has been unable to survive several administrations.
The governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, speaking after the state signed an MoU with NALDA, in Umuahia, the state capital expressed joy with the number of interventions of NALDA in agricultural development in Nigeria since the leadership of the current Executive Secretary.
Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu with the plans of NALDA to bring the Ogwe Golden Chicken back to life describing the project as not only strategic to the people of Ukwa West but Abia as a whole.
Ikpeazu who could not mince words over NALDA’s intervention in fish farming at Ikwuano LGA, pointed out that federal government intervention in agriculture through NALDA has given hope to Nigeria youths, especially, the jobless ones.
In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Ikpeazu, Mr. Onyebuchi Ememanka, the Governor argued that part of what has retarded progress in Nigeria is the disconnect between youths and the government, adding that NALDA through its various interventions has inspired hope in the youths.
“He described agriculture as a strategic enterprise and one of the greatest providers of jobs for the youths as well as raw materials for industries and appealed to NALDA to continue to mainstream the idea of engendering local participation in the economy as a way of reducing rural-urban drift and drive socioeconomic development at the grass-roots.
“The Governor thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing Prince Ikonne to lead NALDA and pledged his administration’s support to him and his efforts to operationalize agricultural reserves in the rural areas.
“He also pledged to find an appropriate centre in Abia North for NALDA’s activities and appealed to President Buhari to continue to support NALDA to drive socioeconomic development in the country.
Earlier in his speech, the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne said their visit to the state was to sign an MOU with the State government for the reactivation of Ogwe Golden Chicken project in the State.
Ikonne described the Ogwe Golden Chicken project as a strategic farm for the people of Abia State, adding that when operational, the farm will employ about 3000 youths while disclosing that the first phase of the project will be commissioned in December this year.
He further said that the farm will comprise the processing plant, production and training sections.
According to him, the project will be community based as youths will be recruited from the immediate community and made public that Abia is entitled to three integrated farm estates to be developed by NALDA in addition to benefiting from the fish village currently being developed in Ikwuano LGA.
He appealed to the Governor for the donation of more land for NALDA programs and thanked Governor Ikpeazu for his positive disposition to President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration which has manifested in attracting federal projects to the State.
Prince Ikonne signed for NALDA while Secretary to Government, Barrister Chris Ezem signed for the Abia State Government.
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Chief of Staff to the Governor, Prof-acb Agbazuere, Deputy Chief of Staff in the office of the Deputy Governor, Sir Don Ubani, Program Manager of the Abia State Agricultural Development Program, Chief Isreal Amanze, ASOPADEC Commissioner, Chief Uzo Ihuka and Chief Okey Ahiwe were part of the event.