By Jacinta Nwachukwu
The Bank of Agriculture (BOA) has presented N2.
3 million cheques to four civil servants under the Agripreneurship Scheme of the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
The Managing Director, BOA, Alhaji Alwan Hassan, disclosed this at the symbolic presentation of BOA Agriculture Credit Facility cheques to the beneficiaries on Thursday in Abuja.
Hassan said the initiative was in line with the bank’s Agriculture Credit Facility aimed at empowering civil servants through repayment loans of nine per cent interest rate.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the four beneficiaries were given repayment loans of N1 million, N500,000, while two received N400,000 each.
He explained that the beneficiaries were selected based on some criteria ranging from their salary net, retirement period among others.
Hassan further said that the four beneficiaries were the first batch of the initiative, saying that the management would try to improve on the challenges experienced during the programme.
He advised civil servants not to wait until after retirement before they go into agriculture business.
Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation said that the initiative aligned with the president Bola Tinubu Renewed Hope Agenda to enable retirees to cope with life after retirement.
According to Yemi-Esan, 87 civil servants participated but only four were successful.
“This laudable initiative focuses specifically on a value proposition as a veritable instrument to enhance the welfare and well-being of civil servants for high-yield performance.
“This programme also creates a window for those in service to earn supplemental income and agriculture is one of the areas we are allowed to go into,’’ she said.
Yemi-Esan also said that the programme was packaged based on tripartite arrangement by the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, the Public Service Institute of Nigeria (PSIN) and the Bank of Agriculture.
“Office of HoS coordinates the programme, PSIN handles the theoretical components while BOA provides credit facility to eligible participants at the end of training for business start up,’’ she added.
Yemi-Esan while congratulating the beneficiaries urged them to use the facility judiciously so as to enjoy more.
On his part, the Chairman, Association and Joint Union Negotiation Council, Mr Sylvester Ameh thankedYemi-Esan for her support and doggedness in achieving the targeted goal.
Ameh said that the initiative was a welcome development, and appealed to the management of BOA to make the facility more accessible to many civil servants.
He said that the initiative would encourage civil servants to put more efforts in their work.
On behalf of the beneficiaries, Mrs Eunice Tinko, a Level 13 officer thanked the service for the opportunity and said that the loan would help her start up fishery farming.
==========Edited by Razak Owolabi