The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has disbursed N1.9 million soft loan to 19 beneficiaries of its 2023 Sustainable Development and Empowerment (SADE) Schemes in Kano State.
Disbursing the fund on Wednesday in Kano, the Director-General of NDE, Malam Abubakar Fikpo, said that the scheme was under Rural Employment Promotion (REP) Department.
He said that the empowerment programme was designed to reduce the increasing unemployment rate in the country.
According to him, the programme trains unemployed youths in the agricultural value chain of activities, such as production, storage, processing, preservation and packaging.
“Today, we are here to launch the disbursement of loans to 228 beneficiaries under the 2023 SADE.
“These prospective participants are drawn from the pool of REP trained beneficiaries in the 12 states.
“Under this scheme, N22.8 million will be shared to 228 persons in 12 states to enable them to set up and manage small scale agricultural enterprises,” Fikpo said.
He further said that the loan would provide them with the required finances for enterpreneurship.
He urged them to justify the efforts by putting in their best to succeed and repay the loan in due time so that other unemployed youths would benefit from the scheme.
The NDE boss advised the beneficiaries to see the gesture as a rare opportunity, which should not be allowed to fail.
Earlier, the Director, REP, Mr Emem Duke, said the gesture was to enable them to set up their own businesses, become self-reliant and employers of labour, boost job creation and spur the youths to contribute to the national economy,
He explained that the exercise would go a long way in reducing the number of unemployed youths in the country.
Fikpo, represented by a Deputy Director in the organisation, Joshua Fagbemi, said that the aim of the gathering was also to sensitise the beneficiaries on the effective utilisation of the loans, which would be disbursed to them through banks.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), some of the beneficiaries thanked NDE for the gesture and promised to use the fund for the purpose it was intended. (NAN)