By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – One thousand and seven applicants on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 were interviewed for the World Bank supported Agro-processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support, (APPEALS), in Kaduna.
The interviewees made up of women and youth were among the 75,000 applicants that applied for the grant in the state.
The State Project Coordinator, APPEALS, Dr. Yahaya Aminu, disclosed that the Kaduna State Government is interested in the project which cardinal objectives are to promote food security, diversify the economy, create jobs, attract investments and improve livelihood of citizens.
He added that government is working towards providing conducive environment for the programme to achieve it set objectives in the state by way of reaching the farmers and beneficiaries.
Dr Aminu called on the participants to corporate and ensure they utilize whatever intervention they will get from the APPEALS project because the opportunity is meant to support them create jobs as agric entrepreneurs and convert assets into wealth to become employers of labour.
Speaking on security challenges in the state, the State Coordinator said security has become a daily issue and the State Government is up and doing in ensuring that lives and property of citizens are protected.
In his own remarks, the National Project Operations Manager, APPEALS, Dr. Salisu Garba, explained that the interview is part of the stage of selection of women and youth empowerment programmed introduced in six states of Kaduna, Kano, Kogi, Enugu, Cross River and Lagos.
According to him, adverts were placed in two national dailies for applicants to expressed their interests in the programme as it has been done before in commercial agric, the APPEALS project is a new one building up on what was done in commercial agric.
Dr Garba stressed that for people to be eligible for participation, they must have at least secondary school education, while women who are above forty years are exempted.
Also speaking, the National Women, Youth and Livelihood Specialist at APPEALS national headquarters, Mrs Heather Akani, said People Living With Disability, (PLWDs), would be given special privilege as 5 per cent of the total applicants has reserved for them.
She added that they were not at the interview because of their condition, but they would be invited on a suitable date for them; and assured of transparency and openness in the process.