The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Nigeria,has said it would work with local government councils in the country to encourage the youths set up cottage industries.
The National Coordinator, NEPAD Nigeria, Princess Gloria Okobondu, gave the indication in Kaduna during a courtesy visit to Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai .
The Coordinator was in the state to hold discussions with stakeholders on building collaboration at the grassroots for the economic prosperity of the state.
Okobondu said NEPAD Nigeria was also working to support the programmes of the Federal Government to redirect activities for economic diversification.
“Every project that would be carried out by Federal and State governments are carried out at the locality level, apart from infrastructure, housing all these things are done there.”
“Agriculture, farming, we are talking of economic diversification, of which these would be carried out at the local government levels where we have the farms.”
“So this program is targeted at getting the youth, getting women and redirecting their thinking, repositioning them, realigning them into the good governance of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
She said NEPAD is following the programmes of the President to get the youth and women into agriculture and cottage industries.
“ NEPAD is working tirelessly to get the LGAs involved where we can identify these youth, train them, use them to establish cottage industries for food processing and packaging and export.
“We want the local government to partner with this programme through the state governors, because NEPAD partners with both Private and Public sector.
“ And for economy to grow, for Nigeria to have robust economy; it is not meant for federal government alone.
“Job creation is not for Federal Government alone, it is not for government to employ, it is for the public and the private sector to work together to create jobs for Nigerians,“ she noted.
According to her, local governments have a major role to play because if there is peace and understanding at the local government level, the investors would come in.
“Meaning they have the enabling environment to put down their investments, while the government provides the friendly laws that help them put down their money and get back the return of the investment.
“ The Federal Government has given the opportunity to the investors, so the Local Governments have greater role to work with NEPAD Nigeria on how to make this sustainable at the local government level,“ she said.
She said that state governors must understand that local governments are major partners in the process of development.
“So very soon we are going to get that corridor open and even the president himself is working to ensure that every state and local government is given the opportunity to attract investment.
“I want to believe that the governors are doing well and they know what to do; with synergy among the states and local governments, together we will rebuild this nation,“ she said.
Earlier, during the courtesy visit, Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai said that he was impressed with the programmes of NEPAD and believed that it would bring about good governance in Africa.
El-Rufai, represented by the Speaker, State House of Assembly, Alhaji Aminu Shagali said he was convinced that NEPAD programmes if well implemented, would address current economic challenges in Africa.
He noted that the focus on youth and women involvement in large scale Agriculture was key to Africa’s economic prosperity.
Meanwhile, the delegation has held interaction with stakeholders behind close door to discuss their major challenges.