The Edo State Government has taken its agricultural programme to new highs as plans to train and give its youths financial aides gain momentum.
According to the Institute of Export Operations and Management (IEOM), measures have been finalised to partner with financial institutions on the training of Edo youths as well as the provision of financial support for the processing and packaging of agricultural products, mineral resources, as well as art and craft products for export.
The disclosure was made to newsmen by the Executive Secretary of IEOM, Ofon Udofia when a delegation of institute and members of the Benin Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, paid Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State a courtesy visit at the Government House, Benin City.
Udofia added that some of the financial institutions the IEOM is finalising the deals with include the Nigerian Export-Import (NEXIM) Bank and Bank of Industry (BOI).
He stated that the Institute was resolved to equip the youths with the right knowledge in agriculture, through training programmes that will focus on product development, processing and as well as packaging – that will match international standards and quality.
In his remark, “The decision has been reached to complement the laudable socio-economic projects being embarked upon by the Godwin Obaseki-led administration. The plans to develop the Edo Inland Dry Port, Gelegele Seaport and the Industrial Park are credible and will open the Edo economy to international markets.”
Udofia added that the partnership deals would include arrangement with NEXIM and BOI to assist in funding for the processing companies, stating, “The processing companies will be set-up at the completion of the training programme.”
He noted that the centre is set for training but, requires training ground from the state to serve as location for the exercise on export commodities development.
“In the centre, youths would be taught and exposed to viable business opportunities and how to harness export opportunities in agriculture, solid minerals and art and craft sectors,” Udofia added.
The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Osarodion Ogie, noted that the state would leave no stone unturned to support investors to drive products, manufacturing to supply domestic and international markets.
Ogie explained that the Benin Industrial park, Gelegele Sea port and Edo Inland Dry Port would boost exportation, provide jobs for the teeming youth population and create wealth.
“All of these cannot be achieved without empowering youths with requisite skills to prepare them to fit into the new job opportunities that would be created in the state,” he said.