In a move to boost Human capacity development in agriculture, the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and its Joint Venture Partners, have through her Green Rivers Project scheme trained 275 youths in Niger Delta region in various agricultural businesses.
The youths drawn from the four states of NAOC operations, Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, and Imo States were trained in skills such as fisheries, poultry, livestock and crop farming.
Speaking during the Graduation Ceremony for pioneer class of 2017/2018 NAOC-JV Agro-Skills Acquisition Training Programme, last Thursday in Port Harcourt, the Vice Chairman/Managing Director of NAOC, Massimo Insulla, said the scheme was introduced to tackle the issues of unemployment in the nation.
Insulla in his address said: “The special Agro Skills Acquisition was introduced in 2016 to meet the present day economic and social realities’’.
“This programme is expected to introduce young men and women into modern agricultural practice for employment generation and create an enabling environment for youths to embrace agricultural value chains as a business venture.”
He charged the trainees to make good use of the opportunity to change their economic fortune and that of their communities, stressing that the choice of agriculture for the empowerment was the vision of the firm to align with that of the Federal Government on diversification.
Also speaking, the Group General Manager NAPIMS, Rowland Ewubare, represented by the deputy Manager, Public Affairs, Mrs. Clementina Arubi urged the trainees to make good use of the opportunity given to them.
However, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Oando, Wale Tinubu, said the essence of the scheme was to reinforce that agriculture is not merely crop production, but includes production of food, utilising the abundant land and water that the communities have been blessed with.
Tinubu, who was represented by Kofo Tunji-Olagunju, stressed that without agriculture it would not be possible to have stock markets, banks, urging the trainees to take the gains of the scheme seriously.
Meanwhile, the President of the NAOC JV Agro Trainee Scheme, Christian Achonwa, commended the Joint Venture for the initiative, adding that such scheme if sustained would help in tackling crime among youths of Niger Delta