The World Bank, through the FADAMA III Additional Financing (AFII) Programme, says funds will soon be disbursed to the beneficiaries of the Graduate Unemployment Youths Support Scheme (FADAMA GUYS).
Dr Adetunji Oredipe, World Bank Task Team Leader (TTL) of the FADAMA Programme, gave the assurance in an interview with newsmen in Abuja.
He said that FADAMA GUYS was the special programme designed to empower youths and women who were trained in their chosen enterprises.
“We are working around the clock to make sure that we are able to raise funds to support the approved business plans.
“We are working with Federal Ministry of Finance to get what we call reallocation; that is putting money under appropriate category where it can be utilised for the purpose we have already identified.
“As soon as we come out of that, FADAMA GUYS beneficiaries out there should be rest assured that we will not waste time in disbursing the funds to them.
“We have applied to the Federal Government, through Federal Ministry of Finance, for permission to reallocate funds from other categories like consultancy, training, civil works into the grants and funds category.’’
Oredipe said that any moment from now, funds disbursement would start, particularly to those beneficiaries who would engage in rainy season agricultural activities, because they had completed the grants agreement and submitted their land documents.
“We will work with the planting period and when it is late, they will have to wait for the next planting period.
“We are sorry that this programme did not go as planned but I want to assure you that it will come to pass,”
The task team leader said that the objective of the programme was to partner with government in areas of job creation and capacity building, while keeping the foreign exchange rates low.
“We are making sure we import low quantities of rice and tomatoes, while putting less pressure on our Naira (currency) so as to make our economy strong.
“Anytime from now, you will be able to see our support at the state level and FADAMA GUYS beneficiaries will start receiving the funds which they have been waiting for.
“If I receive a go-ahead from government today; within two weeks, we will be able to finalise the process and the disbursement will start immediately,’’
The 23 participating states of FADAMA GUYS are Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Niger, Ogun and Ondo states.
Others are Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba and Zamfara states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).