In a bid to curb criminality within its vicinity, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Base in Lagos on Wednesday empowered 100 barracks youths on fish farming.
The Base Youths Empowerment Through Agriculture (BYETA) was flagged off by Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Toyin Suarau, at the Sam Ethnam NAF Base, Ikeja.
Speaking at the occasion, Head of NAF Lagos Logistics Command, AVM Nnamdi Ekeh, said the initiative was aimed at empowering youths economically to curb social vices within barracks.
Ekeh said that the programme was also aimed at promoting agriculture and self-sufficiency among the youths.
He thanked the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, for the laudable initiative and support for the military.
Addressing the beneficiaries, Suarau said that the programme was in line with the vision of the state government on food security and job creation.
“The state development plan for agriculture is to move the present local food production from 18 per cent to 25 per cent of the state food demand by year 2025.
“The state has put in place various projects and programmes in agriculture for our youths. We have the rice for job programme which we have started in Epe and Badagry,” he said.
The commissioner said that 400 youths had benefited from the programme.
He added that the state’s Agriculture Youths’ Empowerment Scheme was aimed at training youths in the three basic fields of agriculture – fishery, livestock and crop.
“This scheme has trained 600 youths,” the commissioner said.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Commander, 651 Base Service Group, NAF, Musbau Olatunji, advised youths to make good use of the rare opportunity.
“It is hoped that this will encourage the youths in the air force base and surrounding community to take up fish farming and other agricultural activities to empower themselves,” he said.
He said that the programme was initiated to promote agricultural entrepreneurship among youths in the base and surrounding communities.
A representative of the beneficiaries, Mr Ibrahim Afeeze, lauded the programme and called on other youths to key into the entrepreneurship programme. (NAN)