Cross River State is partnering the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Dantata group to create 20,000 agro-based jobs for youths, it has been learnt.
Governor Ben Ayade stated this yesterday when officials of Dantata Group and CB visited his office.
He said: “The meeting between CBN, Dantata group and Cross River is to cement a factor and create opportunity first for livestock, cattle and poultry. I have made an offer of job opportunities to 20,000 young people with immediate effect but you are actually going to be your own employer.
“We will provide the money. We have signed an agreement with CBN to provide us money to support 20,000 young farmers.”
The young farmers, Ayade explained, will be deployed in cotton production, livestock, maize and soya beans farming, rice farming, cocoa processing, groundnut cultivation, among others.
The governor added that the state, in partnership with Dantata group, will also set up an abattoir in Obudu cattle ranch to grow cattle, beef production and exportation within the West African sub-region.
According to Ayayde, his administration was taking the lead in agro-industrialisation because ‘this is the only way we can create jobs and reduce youth restiveness, and allow young people to realise their full potential’.
He argued that with massive arable land, it was an anomaly for the country to continue to import food. “The advent of COVID-19 and the EndSARS protests are like a clarion call that time has come for us to end food imports. So I identify fully with President Muhammadu Buhari’s philosophy and policy of ban on imported foods to force us to start creating jobs for young people,” he added.
Leader of the Dantata team Alhaji Tajuddeen Dantata, who is also chairman and CEO of Dantata Food and Allied Product Company Ltd, said his company was delighted to partner with Cross River in agro production.
He maintained that the time has come for Nigeria to take its destiny in its hand in terms of food production. “We have to really work on ourselves because we have to produce what we eat and eat what we produce. We can’t sit and continue to be fed with whatever comes,” he noted.