By Stanley Onyekwere
The Oil Palm Estate Partnership Investment Development Initiative, (OPESID, and Agribusiness Alternative Retirement Target Investment Savings Scheme (AARTISS), are set to unveil 50,000 agribusiness investment opportunities for 50,000 federal government workers across Miniseries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The retirement scheme which is to be operated in the oil palm plantation value chain has to do with the establishment of an oil palm estate on a partnership basis of cluster and aggregated indirect farmers.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, the President of Stocks Minas Agricultural Advocacy Network Africa, Mr. Idoko Joseph, revealed that the scheme will be officially launched in June, 2019, stressing that an investor must be on IPPIS platform for ease of deduction.
Idoko, who is also the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Stock and Minas Consults Ltd, also stressed that an investor is expected to be a civil servant in Nigeria with steady remuneration or income and have minimum of five years left in service to retire, at the point of subscription to the scheme.
Speaking on the source of funding, Idoko stated that the agribusiness investment scheme is being planned to be sourced from the Central Bank of Nigeria, leveraging on the Real Sector Support Facility, RSSF, and targeting tree crop expansion programme in Nigeria.
He also said the total loanable amount of N500,000 is paid to each prospective and registered beneficiary’s investment account and it is programmed to be repaid through monthly deduction.
According to him, “the agreed monthly deduction from the salary account of the indirect farmer is made payable to the Central Bank of Nigeria as a refund for the total sum of the investment cost. The organisation then takes over the establishment, management and other operations of the plantation for and on behalf of the indirect cluster farmers for profitable return on investment”.
Idoko, said the scheme was modeled with a complimentary targeted savings called Agribusiness Alternative Retirement Target Investment Savings Scheme, AARTISS, noting that AARTISS potential benefit to the subscriber includes; an inventor becomes a proud part-owner of the oil palm plantation to be established and managed professionally for sustainable economic benefits.
Other benefits include investor stands to benefit from the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, under organised private sector policy, adding that under this arrangement, investors are insured.
Earlier in his remarks, Chairman Board of Trustee, Sen. Alloysius Etok, said that the initiative is to boost agriculture value chain through mechanized farming, aimed at ensuring the off-takers are provided with enabling environment.