Alhaji Mustapha Baba-Shehuri, the Minister of State, Agriculture and Rural Development, has called on youths to key into the viable agriculture empowerment programmes initiated by the Federal Government, to address the problem of unemployment in the country.
Shehuri made this call when he visited the Maiduguri GSM market to sympathise with fire victims on Friday in Maiduguri.
He said the government had implemented various agriculture schemes to provide job opportunities, enhance wealth creation and encourage agricultural production, to attain self-sufficiency and food security.
“We have programmes in the ministry that are meant to empower youths and women, who fit very well into the programmes.
“We have many empowerment programmes; anybody who is of interest can visit any of the ministry’s office to find out a lot of things going on in the agricultural sector in the country”.
Shehuri added that the ministry was working to provide interventions for farmers, whose farmlands were affected by flood disaster in the country.
On the fire incident in the Maiduguri market, Shehuri said he was pained by the disaster and that he had to come personally to sympathize with the victims.
Shehuri said that traders, who were mostly youths had demonstrated high sense of ingenuity and innovations to create job opportunities, engage in productive activities and contribute to the social and economic development of the society.
“In the past 20 years; there was no GSM market in Maiduguri, the youth came up with innovative ideas and set up a market worth millions of naira in an era where government at all levels are trying to create jobs.
“And when established, this group of people are faced with such calamity; any responsible government must come up to help them out of the situation.
“As a citizen of the state; I have to come to commiserate with the victims and promised them that we have youth empowerment programmes from which they can benefit to earn a livelihood,” he added.
Shehuri further donated five million naira to the victims to alleviate their sufferings.
Also speaking, Mr Nasiru Abdullahi, the chairman of the traders union in the market, lauded the gesture, assuring that the leadership of the union would be fair and just in the distribution of the money to the affected persons.