Samuel Luka, Bauchi
In an effort to mitigate poverty and unemployment among youth and women in Bauchi state, a Non-Governmental Organization, Oxfam has trained about 13,000 people across six local government areas of the state on livestock rearing and management.
The Senior Project Manager of the Pastoral Resolve, Oxfam Line project in Bauchi, Mr. Shuaibu Aliyu Kobi who made this known in Shira local government area Wednesday, added that others were trained on village Saving and Loans (VSAL) scheme in six local government areas of the state.
Mr. Shuaibu who explained that the project is being implemented in Shira, Gamawa, Alkaleri, Tafawa Balewa, Darazo and Ningi LGAs began in 2016, said efforts are been made to ensure that all that the project has carried out in the state is sustained by the stakeholders.
According to him, the Line project has after training about 760 women in Shira on livestock management, also provided them with three goats each, two ‘she’ and one ‘he’ as starter packs.
Shuaibu noted that some youths were identified within the benefitting communities and given training and equipped with drugs and working tools on community animal health service provision to provide services to the livestock management beneficiaries.
“Our target for this project in the whole Bauchi state was 10,000, sixty percent women and forty percent men but fortunately now we are around 13,000, which means we have exceeded our target of 10,000”, Shuaibu said.
“For instance, our target was to train 2,350 in Shira but now we have engaged 3,800. So you can see that we have exceeded our target”, the Line project manager said.
Shuaibu who said that the benefitting LGA’s having understood the benefits of the project, have pledged to replicate on their own.
To that regard, Mr. Shuaibu said that the project has trained staff of the benefitting LGA’s in different aspects of the project implementations.
“Today, we are here in Shira to hand over those staff that we have trained to the local government so that the local government can continue and sustain some of these good activities that we have carried out in the local government”, he explained.
Mr. Shuaibu further explained that the project been carried out include various agricultural interventions in which farmers were trained on best Agronomic practices.
“We also trained them in the area of livestock production and in the area of business development as well”, the project manager added.
Mr. Shuaibu noted that the project also introduced the Village Saving and Loan (VSAL) scheme to strengthen financial inclusion among citizens in various localities to enable them have access to credit and loans among themselves to finance their businesses in which thousands of women have embraced.
The project manager who presented VSAL boxes to the local government chairman for the trained staff, said that the boxes are meant to encourage the beneficiaries save and give loan from it.
He said that the VSAL box is meant to solve the problem of financial inclusion which has made access to credit and access to funds very difficult especially in the rural areas and hard to reach areas.
“The VSAL scheme is an informal way of banking whereby community can sit down together, mobilize their own resources, share the resources as credit and embark on small businesses and return the loan they have collected, that’s what is called Village Saving and Loan”, Mr Shuaibu noted.
Shuaibu further explained that the VSAL is a tool that improve financial inclusion especially among the less privileged people in the society, said that, based line survey conducted by Oxfam indicated a lot of improvement in access to finances and access to credit by the beneficiaries.
He said there is also a lot of improvement in terms of assets acquisition such that many of the beneficiaries have purchased lands, livestock, granding machines, houses, among others.
Mr. Shuaibu who thanked the Shira LG chairman for constructing a befitting office accommodation for the Oxfam in Shira, urged him to ensure that all the necessary support is provided to trained personnel to enable them go round the various communities and create different groups to make the project more successful.
Responding, the Executive Chairman of Shira local government area, Honorable Mahmoud Abba thanked the NGO for choosing his area among the beneficiaries.
The Chairman who said he was impressed on the level of impact of the Oxfam Line project in Shira, assured that the council under him will continue to give the necessary support for the project to be sustained.
Hon. Abba said he has constructed an office accommodation for the NGO in Shira local government area to enable them have a conducive environment to operate.