At least 360,000 youths in Nigeria will get opportunities for a job, if they are willing enough to get do what it takes.

There is a Federal Government initiative that will be launched soon and this will create jobs for young Nigerians, the Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said on Friday.

Plans are on for the quick commencement of the Federal Government’s agricultural initiative and this programme will provide jobs for 360,000 youths from Nigeria's 36 States.

Emefiele discussed the operational framework for the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS) with some interest groups in the agriculture sector.

The AADS, according to him, is targeted primarily at unemployed youths between the ages of 18 and 35.

Government Inputs

Emefiele said through the scheme, a minimum of 10,000 youths in each state, willing to engage in sustainable and profitable activities along the agriculture value chain, would be employed and trained.

“I believe we are on the verge of something very significant with the AADS.

“ This scheme has been designed to create an ecosystem with the active participation of the public sector, state governments and the private sector,’’ he said.

The apex bank's boss also explained that the objectives of AADS included the creation of economy of scale of farming on contiguous land.

“It will also assist farmers in embracing modern farming practices, such as use of tractors and irrigation schemes.

“It aims to reduce cost of production with availability of high quality inputs at competitive prices and lowering delivery cost of extension services,’’ he explained.

To make it easier for the youths to engage, state governments are expected to provide contiguous arable land, basic infrastructure, more efficient extension services, training and mentoring of the beneficiaries.


“The CBN on its part will provide financing at single digit interest rates.

“Beneficiaries are not expected to come up with any physical collateral but they must be grouped into formally registered cooperatives and cross-guarantee each other.

“All loan beneficiaries must also have valid Bank Verification Numbers (BVN), which will be registered on the National Collateral Registry and used to track repayments and also blacklist any defaulters," he further explained.

After the release of the operational framework for the scheme, engagements with interest groups in the sector will continue to ensure that the scheme will begin during the dry season cultivation of the outgoing year.

Also at the meeting was the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh.

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he highlighted that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development would be providing technical support for the project.

“We will be fully involved in the land clearing aspect of the project. In some places we will also be building dams and lakes to ensure all season farming.

“We will also provide advice because we have a team of experts at the ministry on crops, soil testing and the right kind of fertiliser so that when these young people go into agriculture, they won’t lose money,” he said.