FG Releases N2.2bn Agric Funds to 444 Co-operative Societies

FG Releases N2.2bn Agric Funds to 444 Co-operative Societies

The Federal Government has disbursed N2.2bn to the 444
agricultural-based cooperative societies in 148 local government areas
out of the 774 LGs in the country. The measure is part of the efforts
to boost agricultural production in Nigeria.

The three agricultural-based cooperative societies selected from each
of the 148 LGAs received N500,000 each for group agricultural
activities for investment in enterprises along the agricultural value
chain and operated through a micro-credit finance process. The Senior
Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals, Dr. Precious Gbeneol, disclosed this in
Abuja during the inauguration of the MDGs micro-credit grants to 444
agric-based co-operative societies in 148 local governments.

According to her, the initiative remains one of the pivotal strategies
of her office to complement all poverty alleviation and employment
initiatives of the Federal Government. The scheme is expected to
positively improve on the economic activities in the rural areas. She
however pledged that the number of the benefiting societies would be
scaled up to 630 this year to accommodate other agric-based societies
across the country.

Gbeneol said, “It is our expectation that with the successful
inauguration of this initiative, the 444 agric-based cooperative
societies in the 148 local government areas across the country will go
back to their communities to make judicious use of this opportunity
accorded them by the committed leadership of this administration.”

The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on MDGs, Mr.
Al-Hassan Doguwa, warned the beneficiaries not to misappropriate the
money given to them. He said, “I want to urge the beneficiaries to use
the money given to them judiciously. You should avoid the temptation
of using the grant to invest in building houses and other businesses;
instead you should do the right thing accordingly. You need to be
committed to ensure you are fruitful in your business.”

According to him, the National Assembly is committed to ensuring that
the country meets the MDGs target by 2015. One of the beneficiaries
from Sarduana LGA, Taraba State, Mr. Abraham Kaduna, expressed
satisfaction with the activities of MDGs office in the state while
also commending the initiative . Kaduna said, “It is wonderful,
because for us in Sarduana Local Government, any time we hear about
MDGs, we know that it is something genuine.

It has been a success story in our local government . Most of our
schools, clinics you see that MDGs has renovated them. “When they came
on the issue of this cooperative, we were happy and highly elated
because we know that when they say something, it is going to be done.

We are not surprised that they invited us here and say each of these
cooperative will receive N500,000 for us to go and engage in agro
business which is the bed rock of what we have been doing. “You know
the source of employment in the rural areas is agriculture and this
thing is going to go a long way to help our people and remove them out
of poverty.”
Source:  Punchng


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