According to reports, the Nigerian Air Force in collaboration with the Benue State government has inaugurated the “Barrack Youths Agricultural Empowerment Programme”.
The programme is aimed at helping officers cope with home front demands from their dependents.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, launched the initiative for over 3,000 beneficiaries across Nigeria on Wednesday at the NAF Base Makurdi, Benue State’s capital.
On his arrival at the Officers Mess of the barracks, he was welcomed by one of the benefiting youth with a basket full with fruits and food items, as a symbol to highlight the inauguration.
Air Marshal Abubakar expressed hope that officers engaged in counter-terrorism would now focus on the task at hand, knowing that their families were comfortable.
He stated that any youth living within the NAF barracks qualified for the programme, but must be members of an agricultural cooperative group, emphasising that membership was needed to enable them access funds from banks listed under the programme.
The Air Chief enjoined the beneficiaries to help support officers in the fulfillment of their duties, by engaging in productive activities like agriculture as he gave an insight into the operations of the programme.
The Benue State government also showed its support for the agricultural revolution growth in the state also known as the “food basket” of the nation..
The Commissioner for Agriculture, James Anbua, said a total of 3,750 hectres of land had been earmarked for the youths to practice agriculture.
Besides the inauguration of the empowerment programme, Air Marshal Abubakar also commissioned the new Air War College located within the Base.
Other projects commissioned include a gymnasium fully facilitated for recreational activities and a hostel accommodation for fighter jets pilots at the college.