By Demola Akinyemi
Against the backdrop of rising cases of internet frauds among many Nigerian youths today, Deputy Governor of Kwara State, Mr Kayode Alabi, has stressed the need for the youths to channel their intellects positively to advance the socio-economic growth of the nation because that is the way to get to the top and stay there.
He particularly urged the youths to shun all forms of fraudulent means of making money through internet fraud among others and channels their talents through agriculture as aptly demonstrated by two youths from Kwara south who are already breaking through on the field.
The Deputy Governor stated this at Versa Farms in Oke-Iya town in Ifelodun local government council of the state during an inspection visit to the farms headed by two young entrepreneurs, Mr Olasunkanmi Mustapha and Mr Ibitade Ibrahim in their mid-30s.
The duo, leading team of management experts specialised in the planting of large scale tomatoes and peppers on an expansive 30 hectares of lands
Since the farms commenced operations, products from the farm have penetrated sales in Ilorin and other sub-regions of Nigeria
However, the deputy governor who went round the farm said he was highly impressed by the positive developments on the farm, stressing that by what he had seen, he had been encouraged to return to the farm after his tenure in office.
He said, “I am greatly impressed by what I have seen here today, it shows that talented young men in Nigeria could still positively channelled their talents and visions to make this country great.
“This is a clarion call to those young Nigerians who have been infected by internet fraud mindsets like the suspected Hushpuppi, to have a rethink and channel their talents towards ideas that can be of help towards moving the nation forward.
“With the rapid development here, these two gentlemen would have become multi-billionaires in five years time, this is the way to make money and stay permanently at the top, not like the suspected Hushpuppi and others that made money through fraudulent means over the years and everything would be retrieved from them one day and they would become poor.
“Though these men are young I am not old to start farming, I have been encouraged by what I have seen here, that I would go into farming after my tenure in office so as to make food available for all Nigerians”.
Speaking on behalf of the team, Mr Olasunkanmi Mustapha said that “the vision of the Versa Farms is to produce foods for the consumption of Kwarans first then Nigeria and also give back to the people”.
Already he said the company has paid WAEC and JAMB fees of the youths in the area while drugs are also been bought regularly to equip the state government hospital in the area.
This he said is aside from the 25 youths in the area and environs that have been gainfully employed on the farm since it took off.
Mustapha who was already in IT business said he met his partner, Ibitade Ibrahim a banker, who hails from the village, Oke-Iya in Lagos with whom they shared the same vision and agreed to work together and since then they haven’t looked back.
He said that tomatoes and peppers have been planted on 30 hectares of land at Oke-Iya farm adding that, additional 100 hectares of land have been acquired in Ajase-Ipo town to plant tomatoes, peppers and rice.
Mustapha, therefore, said that sales of the products have been highly encouraging as consumers now rely on their products in the open markets unlike tomatoes and peppers from the north.
He added that some industries from Lagos are already patronizing the farm directly to buy their products for manufacturing.
Mustapha, however, expressed concern over deplorable roads from Ilorin the marketing centre, to the farm in Igbaja as it damages the product, particularly Tomatoes because of its sensitive nature while in transit and urged the state government to help repair them.