By COMFORT NJIONYE
The World Bank Task Team Leader, Dr Adetunji Oredipe has disclosed that the Graduate Unemployment Youths Support Scheme (GUYSS) was created to enhance food production and create job opportunities in Nigeria.
Oredipe disclosed to news men that GUYSS was a new initiative of the World Bank-assisted FADAMA III Additional Financing (AF) programme.
He said that the World Bank, through FADAMA III AF programme, created GUYSS to empower more than 200 youths from various parts of the country through the creation of employment opportunities.
He also said that the programme was put forward to engage the youths effectively in diverse agricultural activities.
According to him “We are collaborating with the Federal Government to ensure that the programme is a success.
“The programme is targeted at job creation, building youths capacity and facilitating efforts to keep the foreign exchange rate of the nation’s currency low.
“We want to abolish the importation of rice and tomatoes into the country in order to reduce the pressure on the naira and make the national economy strong,’’
Oredipe further added that the programme would support all aspects of agricultural production as business ventures; from crops to livestock production, inputs support and supply as well as advisory services.
He also said there would be extension services for the beneficiaries on post-harvest measures, including warehousing, marketing and products distribution.
He concluded that the target beneficiaries of GUYSS would be secondary school certificate holders, undergraduates and graduates between the ages 18 and 35 years.
He assured that the scheme would ensure transparency in the selection of beneficiaries.
Oredipe disclosed that the programme would start before July with a starter pack for the successful candidates.
The first phase of the scheme would cover 21 states and the FCT.
The states are Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Sokoto and Taraba.
The Federal Government, in collaboration with the World Bank’s FADAMA III AF Project, launched GUYSS in May 2017.
At the launch, the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, said that GUYSS would facilitate the attainment of the goals of the Green Alternative Roadmap for the Federal Government’s Agriculture Promotion Policy (APP).
The minister said that the Green Alternative Roadmap recognized the key roles of smallholder farmers and large-scale farmers in maximizing agricultural output and increasing efficiency in agricultural operations.