The federal government, in collaboration with the Nasarawa State Government, has disbursed loans to 500 women and youths under the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) Micro Enterprise Enhancement Scheme (MEES) in the state.
The loans were disbursed to the beneficiaries by the Governor of Nasarawa State, Engr. Abdulkadir A. Sule, in company of the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, at the Government House, Lafia.
The minister said the empowerment programme was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s concern for the poor and less privileged, and the need to improve their economic status.
Keyamo also said in addition to the disbursement of loan, the federal government plans to train 50 persons from each of the local government areas in the state on special skills as part of efforts to lift the people out of poverty.
Also speaking, Governor Sule thanked the federal government for coming to their aid to support people of the state with empowerment programmes. “The amount may not mean a lot to some people but it means a lot to majority of the beneficiaries because that is the working capital they need,” he said.
He thanked the Minister for the additional 50 beneficiaries that would also be trained and given the tools to work with. “They will have training, tools and support to be out of poverty. During the selection, we will be honest to select those that are truly in need so that they can benefit maximally from the empowerment,” he said.
The governor then donated 304 hectares of land to the National Directorate of Employment for a Vocational and Agricultural Training Centre in Nasarawa State.
Earlier, the Director-General, National Directorate of Employment, Dr Nasir Mohammed Ladan Argungu, said as part of its mandate, the directorate runs skills acquisition programmes aimed at creating employment.
“Our aim is to ensure that the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of Mr. President, and his promise to Nigerians to take 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years becomes a reality,” he stated.
He thanked the state government for providing land to NDE to build its permanent office in the state.
He also said the event was to support 500 beneficiaries from the state, adding that the disbursement of the loans was in its first phase, and more was in the pipeline.