From Noah Ocheni, Lokoja
The Consultant in charge of Agribusiness Alternative Retirement Investment Scheme (AARIS), Mr.Joseph Idoko, said on Monday in Lokoja that more than 10,000 Kogi State civil servants are to benefit from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) approved N10 billion scheme in the state.
Mr. Idoko who disclosed this while addressing newsmen on the significance of the scheme on Monday in Lokoja said the CBN had already approved the fund for the scheme scheduled to take off soon in the state.
Idoko hinted that the programme, an off-shot of the CBN Anchor Borrowers Scheme, was specifically an indirect cluster farming investment for the workers, with Oil palm and its value chain as mandate crop.
According to him, 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 in the state.
The consultant pointed out that the scheme also planned, among other objectives, to enrol the participating workers in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) under the Organised Private Sector explaining that beneficiaries would cut across the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as staff of the state Judiciary and institutions of higher learning in the state respectively.
Idoko further disclosed that 10,000 workers are expected to participate in the scheme which has a full cover of the Leadway Insurance adding that registration of the workers had commenced in various MDAs and would end on Tuesday, 12 May 2020.
The the idea according to him is to enable government workers to retire into a particular business that would enable them cope with economic situation of the country after retirement.
Idoko commended the state Head of Service Deaconnes Deborah Ogunmola, the Organised Labour under Comrade Onuh Edoka, the Ministry of Agriculture and other stakeholders for contributing to the smooth take off of the scheme.
According to him, the scheme comes in form of a loan of N1million to each participant at nine per cent interest and payable with nine years after a two-year moratorium.
“The benefitting workers would begin to receive a N240,000 each as annual dividend after a four-year gestation period before the oil palm starts producing and from then, the dividentlds would service the loans liquidate them.” he added.