The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in Nasarawa State says the Federal Government has disbursed at least N60 million as loan to people in the state as part of its employment drive since the directorate was established in 1998.
The loan was also part of efforts to address poverty and improve the living standard of the people of the state.
Alhaji Dauda Idris-Wase, the state’s Coordinator of the scheme, made this known in Lafia on Thursday at an orientation programme for beneficiaries of the NDE Empowerment/Loans Schemes in the state.
Idris-Wase explained that the programme was organised to educate the different categories of beneficiaries on how to start and run micro enterprises efficiently.
“This is in line with the plan of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to create massive opportunities for employment of especially women and youths.
“942 lucky young men and women are trained and provided with meaningful and gainful self-employment opportunities through the following schemes:
“Under the Agricultural Value Chain Scheme (AVCS), 60 beneficiaries got N40,000 each, and under the Food Processing and Packaging Scheme (FFPS), 48 women got N20,000 each.
“For the Agri-business Enhancement Scheme (AES), 36 beneficiaries received N50,000 each, while 15 beneficiaries were each given N85,000 in furtherance of the Business Enhancement Development Programme (BEDP).
“Under the Women Employment Programme (WEP), 50 women received N25,000 each, and under the Environmental Beautification Training Scheme (EBTS), 11 beneficiaries receive tools and equipment valued at N1,200,450,” he said.
Idris-Wase further said that 22 graduates of tertiary institutions were recruited for a three-month post-graduate attachment programme during which each would get a monthly stipend of N18,000.
He advised the loan beneficiaries to pay back the amount collected based on laid down guidelines for the scheme so that other people would benefit.
The coordinator restated NDE’s commitment to sustaining the programme for the benefit of unemployed youths, women, and others.
Also speaking, Alh. Suleiman Gambo, the Nasarawa State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, lauded the Federal Government for the gesture.
Gambo urged the government to sustain the programme as it would go a long way toward making the beneficiaries self-reliant.
The commissioner, who was represented by the ministry’s Director of Finance and Account, Ibrahim Dauda, called on the loan/facility beneficiaries to make judicious use of the items to improve their living standards.
Earlier, Mr Rotgak Goar, Head of Vocational Skills Department, also lauded the Federal Government for being up and doing in tackling unemployment in the country.
He urged the beneficiaries to use the skills acquired and the funds for the purpose it was meant for and to re-train others.