“Under the partnership, we intend to build collaborative business skills of smallholder farmers.”
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has said it would intervene in critical sectors of North’s economy to end poverty and insecurity.
The promise is coming ahead of the Northern States Governors’ Forum/U.S. Investors and Aid Agencies forum billed to hold on Saturday.
The Administrator of USAID, Rajiv Shah, was quoted to have promised that the U.S. Government would make direct investments in the areas of agriculture, infrastructure, power/energy and health/ education.
This, he said, was to mitigate poverty and end insurgency.
The chairman of the Northern governors’ forum and Governor of Niger, Babangida Aliyu, in a statement by his spokesperson, Danladi Ndayebo, said this was the highlight of a meeting between USAID and Northern States Governors in Abuja on Wednesday night.
Mr. Aliyu said the collaboration between the forum and the U.S. Government would provide a broader platform for agricultural development as it could employ about 70 per cent of Nigeria’s workforce.
“Under the partnership, we intend to build collaborative business skills of smallholder farmers and associations and increase access to credit and electronic payment services and advancing the development of evidence-based agricultural policies,” he said.
He said the intervention would help to develop an environment for small businesses and expand access to market-driven vocational and technical training linked with private sector employment opportunities.
Mr. Aliyu said USAID programmes would support equitable access to quality basic education through teacher training, support for girls’ learning, infrastructure improvement, community involvement, reading and literacy skills development, targeting public, Qur’anic and Islamiyya schools.
“Qur’anic schools focus on learning the Qur’an and Islamic values, while Islamiyya schools integrate classes to build skills in reading local language and numeracy into the traditional Qur’anic curriculum,” he said.
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