Farmers affected by Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East Nigeria are to be supported by the government of Ireland with a whooping sum of one million Euros in order to fast tract their resettlement.
The Irish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Sa, Hoy disclosed this on Friday when he paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Chief Audu Ogbeh in his office in Abuja.
The ambassador said the donation will be disbursed through the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.
Mr. Hoy stated that the funding is aimed at supporting the process of restoration and rebuilding the region by assisting the farmers to return to farm since farmers cannot remain in IDP camps when there is a chance for them to return.
He noted that “the donation is the first step in the efforts to create gainful employment for the young people in the north east because when young people are not gainfully employed they become vulnerable to radicalisation”
“Agriculture is the big part of the response the government got against this young people that don’t have gainful employment if we can mobilise agriculture and if we can get the people involved in agriculture then those who wants to radicalize them will not find it very easy,” he added.
The Irish Ambassador said he was at the ministry of Agric because his country cannot give support to the FAO without the ministry of Agriculture, as the ministry is their implementing partner.
In his remark, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Chief Audu Ogbeh promised that the donation will be utilized judiciously by relocating by farmers to their farms quickly.
Chief Ogbe also thanked the Irish Government for their support and kind gesture shown to the plight of the boko haram victims.
“Let me thank you for this donation of one million Euro through the FAO, we shall put it to the best use, we shall try and organise farmers to their farms as quickly as possible; we are discussing with the military to see if there is a need to determine some areas of the state so that farmers don’t get blown up in an attempt to get back to their farms and we believe that in another six months to one year, reasonable normalcy will return to Borno State,” he said.
On IDPs, the minister said the government is already planning on how to make their resettlement conducive.
“We have to prepare for their economic livelihood, for their housing, for their well being, for industries to absorb them, we have prepared some of them to go into agriculture and agro industry so that they too can become proud Nigerians and have every reason to patriotic,” he explained.