Are you aware of how the Nigerian government and the Bank of Agriculture are providing N2.3 million agricultural loans to government employees, as part of an initiative to enhance agriculture, food security, and economic growth? This program is aligned with the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan for 2021-2025, offering civil servants an opportunity to earn extra income and contribute to the nation’s economic development.
Empowering Civil Servants with Agricultural Loans
In a groundbreaking move, the Nigerian government, in partnership with the Bank of Agriculture, has disbursed N2.3 million in agricultural loans to government employees. This initiative aims to elevate agriculture, improve food security, and stimulate economic growth across the country.
Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan, the leader of the Civil Service in Nigeria, announced the disbursement while presenting checks to the inaugural recipients of the Agripreneurship Training Scheme. Furthermore, an additional group of 98 individuals has commenced their training as part of this program.
Under the Federal Public Service Entrepreneurship initiative, this program provides government workers with an additional income stream, aids pre-retirees in preparing for post-work life, and contributes significantly to various sectors of the economy, ultimately bolstering Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product.
The program is collaboratively managed by the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, the Public Service Institute of Nigeria (PSIN), and the Bank of Agriculture. Each entity has distinct roles outlined in a formal agreement, ensuring the program’s effective implementation.
The initial cohort underwent a rigorous two-week training at PSIN, delving into various facets of the agricultural value chain. Practical experience was gained through hands-on work on selected farms in Abuja, tailored to match their business interests.
In a statement, Alwan Hassan, the Managing Director of the Bank of Agriculture, highlighted the program’s low-interest loans at just 9%, with repayments linked to participants’ salaries. Commending Dr. Yemi-Esan for spearheading this initiative, Hassan encouraged government workers to view agriculture as a viable retirement plan.