The Federal Government has expressed its readiness to partner with the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) to maximise part of the university’s 15,000 hectares of land for agricultural purposes.
The University Bulletin issued on Monday quoted Mr Mohammed Brimah, the Special Adviser to the President on Job Creation and Youth Employment, as saying this during the inauguration of the N-Power Business Ventures Farm at the UNILORIN Farms.
Brimah described the N-Power Business Ventures Farm as “impressive” and one of the most successful Social Investment Programmes (SIP) of the government.
He said that Federal Government was hopeful that the N-Power programme would inspire the kind of initiative that emanated from N-Power beneficiaries who had taken the initiatives to collaborate with the university.
“Plans are in place to implement pending SIP and commence state level SIPs.
“What we are doing here today serves as a typical example of what the Federal Government sets up to achieve by running Social Investment Programmes in our country.
“We currently have over 520,000 N-Power youths across the country selected on an online platform.
“Their identities are authenticated through their BVN and bank details submitted online by Nigeria Inter-Banks Settlement System (NIBSS).
“It is expected that within the period of volunteering, you would have developed adequate skills, have access to finance, gathered relevant experience and developed strong work ethics.”
Brimah said that the programme was initially designed to run for two years after which the beneficiaries would exit, noting that there were various opportunities for N-Power volunteers to exit into permanent employment programmes.
Also the Vice-Chancellor of University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem, noted that the university decided to key into the agricultural policy of the Mr President by making further use of the university’s land for agricultural purposes.
He observed that only 1,200 hectares were utilised over the last 40 years and that the university had entered into partnership agreement with two different agricultural industries, which will make use of a total of about 12 hectares.
Abdulkareem said that the management had tackled the violation of the University Research Farm and other parts of the university campus by herdsmen as infrastructures had been provided.
He listed the infrastructures to include schools and homes for the herders, which would be some kilometres away from the core academic activities in the university. (NAN)
Edited by Remi Koleoso/Grace Yussuf