The Federal Government on Monday empowered 1,500 women and youths in Kebbi with a N15 million micro credit to boost their businesses.
News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) reports that the disbursement was done through the National Directorate of Employment (NDE)
Disbursing the loan in Argungu, Dr Nasiru Muhammad-Ladan, the Director-General of NDE, said the programme was under its Micro Enterprises Enhancement Scheme (MESS).
Muhammad-Ladan said the empowerment programme was designed to help the women and youths start and improve their own businesses, thereby contributing to the country’s economic development and poverty reduction.
He disclosed that 1,500 beneficiaries would get N10,000 each as financial support to start a micro business of their choice.
“In addition to the cash loan, 52 new brand sewing machines, 52 knitting machines, 52 welding machines and 52 plumbing machines are available in the skill acquisitions centre in Argungu area of the state as well as 36-seater bus to convey the trainees to and fro the centre,”Muhammad-Ladan added.
The DG, who donated 10,000 exercise books and learning materials for educational development in the area, advised the beneficiaries to judiciously make use of the revolving loan and ensure good turnover for appreciable opportunity in the future.
In his remarks, the State Governor, Atiku Bagudu, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for providing the loan to the people of the state.
“This is an employment opportunity for the people,” he said, and urged the beneficiaries to utilise the money, especially with the upcoming Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival.
“The loan is timely as the upcoming festival attracts traffic of people to the state where the beneficiaries can make a lot of proceeds through their small scale businesses,” he said.
The governor commended the Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Sama’ila Mera, for providing good leadership within and outside the state, especially in mobilizing people for the forthcoming festival.
Also, speaking, the Minister of Justice and Attorney- General of the Federation, Alhaji Abubakar Malami, said the gesture was in line with the federal government’s efforts to remove 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
“With programme like this, they show the government’s commitment towards realising that and it would be realised in due time,”he said.
Malami commended the state government for providing an enable environment for investors to be involved in agricultural ventures in the state.
Also, the Emir commended the federal government for the gesture, saying that the disbursement was the fourth time the people benefited from such gesture in the area.
He called on the beneficiaries to utilise the gesture for the purpose it was meant in order to uplift the standard of living of their families and boost their businesses.
Malama Fatima Galadima, who spoke on behalf of the beneficiaries, thanked the federal government for the loan, assuring that it would be repaid within the stipulated time and used judiciously.
NAN reports that the programme was part of the vocational skill development programme, special public works programme and rural employment promotion programme as well as small scale enterprises programme of the NDE.