From: Adeshola Bademosi, Abuja
ABOUT 10,000 civil servants in Kogi State are expected to benefit from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) N10 billion Agribusiness Alternative Retirement Investment Scheme (AARIS) funding.
The fund, which has been approved by the apex bank, is an off-shoot of the Anchor Borrowers Scheme, aimed at providing an indirect cluster farming investment for the workers.
Joseph Idoko, Consultant in charge of the Scheme, who addressed newsmen in Lokoja on Monday said the investment is focused on oil palm and its value chain as major crops.
He explained that the broad objectives of the agribusiness programme, designed under the CBN real sector support facilities, include the diversification from oil to non-oil sectors and to provide retirement investment farms for workers.
“Ten thousand workers are expected to participate in the scheme which has a full cover of the Leadway Insurance. “The idea is for government workers to retire into a particular business that even when they are no more in government work, something can be coming to them to be able to take care of their families,”he said.
According to him, each participant will get a loan of N1 million at nine per cent interest and payable within nine years after a two-year moratorium.
He further explained that benefitting workers would begin to receive N240,000 each as annual dividend after a four-year gestation period before the oil palm starts producing.
He disclosed that beneficiaries will cut across the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as the staff of the state Judiciary and institutions of higher learning in the state.
Idoko added that registration of workers had commenced in various MDAs and would end on Tuesday, May 12.
Already, he said land for 10,000 hectares oil-palm estate had been provided at Amaka in Igalamela-Odolu Local Government Area with partners from Florida, USA.