By Nwogha Ndubuisi Andy
The Senator representing Ebonyi North Senatorial Zone, Dr. Sam Ominyi Egwu on Saturday 30th August, 2019 called Federal Ministry of Finance and its related agency to remove strict condition involved in school leavers’ accessing loan.
The former state governor made the appeal while addressing newsmen at Umuebe farm college, Ezzamgbo during the graduation ceremony of the first set of agricultural skill trainees who were empowered by Industrial Training Fund (ITF) in collaboration with Nigeria Employers Consultative Association.
Proprietor of the agricultural institution, Dr. Egwu lauded the graduands for their commitment and patience throughout the period of the practical training, noting that the graduating students are peculiar in the sense that they are not being awarded certificate for passing out of the institution, but maintained optimism that they had both theoretical and practical knowledge of various areas of specializations.
Dr. Egwu challenged them not to seek for white-collar jobs but harness the teaching and establish their own farms as that would be the secret to building their dream agro-businesses that would stand the test of time.
However, he lamented that Central Bank of Nigeria had a good plan for Nigeria youth to access loan but a stringent condition associated with it has marred the effort and advised CBN that some cumbersome requirements be removed from such loan to enable them to access the money as a way to curb unemployment in the country.
He challenged sponsors of the graduands to seek for financial assistance through Federal Government financial institutions to enable them to put into use what they had learned.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Provost Umuebe Farms College, Prof. Clement Okonkwo, pointed out that the certificate awarding ceremony to participants who participated and had completed the 3-months intensive practical oriented program on modern agricultural skills were the first batch of trainees that cut across the five states of the South East.
He said they majored in Apiculture, Fishery and Aquaculture, poultry production, piggery, crop production and entrepreneurship development.
He noted that the institution offers National Innovation Diploma in Agriculture Technology designed to produce self-reliant, skilled and productive agriculturists.
The Director-General Industrial Training Fund, Sir Joseph Ari (KSM) said the essence of the collaboration was to train and equip Nigeria youth for self-reliance.
The Director who was represented by Comrade Chuks Nnachi advised the graduands to put into use the knowledge gained as they maintain honest and steadfastness.
He appealed to Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal government under the administration of Muhammadu Buhari and well-wishers to assist the graduating students to establish themselves.
On his part, the state governor, Engr. David Umahi, who was ably represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Chief Ogodo Ali Nomeh, promised to assist the graduands as the state government has mapped out some money to empower farmers to ensure they’re among beneficiaries when the program kicks off.
The chairman of the occasion, Chief Boniface Ofoke, urged the youth not to undermine the training as Agriculture remains a permanent profession that never disappoints those in the field.
In an interview, the overall best graduating student and group course representative, Mr. Obazi Onyinyechukwu, prayed that they are incorporated into the state and national Agricultural programme, by giving them the necessary assistance in order to actualize the major objective of the training and for the continuation of the programme.
The highlight of the day was the donations of N1m to the overall best student and N500, 000 each for the next 5 best graduating students in various areas by Senator Egwu and award of a certificate to over 60 graduate students.