Ex-Gov Saraki’s multi-million naira legacy rots away in Kwara – Investigation

Ex-Gov Saraki’s multi-million naira legacy rots away in Kwara – Investigation

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The Malete Youth Farm Centre located at about 30 kilometres away from Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, which was once a beehive of integrated farming activities, has now become desolated, rundown and currently wasting away, investigations have revealed.
The Youth Farm initiative, conceived by former governor of Kwara State, who is now the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, in 2007, has allegedly been neglected by the current administration.
Investigations carried out by The Point revealed that the training centre was designed to empower and proffer solutions to unemployment plaguing the youth populace in the state.
It initially attracted the attention of both local and foreign media alongside its sister project, the Shonga farm project.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, foreign envoys in Nigeria, state governors and other stakeholders in Nigeria visited the centre at the time.
As a matter of fact, some of the governors went on to replicate the project in their various states.
Sadly, today, from the fading inscription of “Welcome to Youth Integrated Farm Centre, Malete, Moro L.G.A. Kwara State,” to the dilapidated entrance of the workshop buildings to the entire farm site, the environment has become overgrown with shrubs and bushes.
Not even the security post was spared, as it has become desolate, with no security personnel manning it.
The Point learnt that the current state of affair at the centre is due to the fact that would-be trainees have started to desert the facility, following the laying off of some casual operators and other workers at the centre after the settlement of the one-year salary owed them.
An insider, who pleaded anonymity, disclosed that only one out of the ten tractors lying fallow in the workshop, is functioning and fit for proper farm work.
Similarly, some of the farm equipment worth millions of naira are no longer useful for serious farming operations. Worst still, the two combined harvesters and two bulldozers sighted by The Point outside the workshop premises appeared to have packed up completely, while the hostels have become desolate and not habitable.
While probing further, The Point gathered from a reliable source that about seven batches of youth trainees have so far graduated from the centre.
Worried by the desolation and rot at the centre, a concerned indigene, who craved anonymity, wondered why government should invest millions of naira in a project like that only to be abandoned by the new government when ample opportunity to key into the Buhari’s administration’s tilt towards agro-economy had been provided. “I think they should just close up the centre if they cannot make it work like former Governor Saraki did instead of wasting youths’ precious time and energy,” he added. Speaking in the same vein, Ibrahim Mustapha, a graduate of the centre, carpeted the state government for not doing enough to consolidate the success made by the last administration to benefit an agrarian state like Kwara.

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