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, His Excellency, Engr. Abdulkadir A. Sule, in company of the Honourable Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, SAN, at the Nasarawa State Government House, Lafia.

The Minister of State said the empowerment programmewas in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s concern about the poor and the less privileged, and the need to improve their economic status.

Keyamo said that in addition to the disbursement of loans to 500 women and youths, the Federal Government has plans to train 50 persons each from all the local government areas in the state on special skills as part of efforts to lift the people out of poverty.

Speaking, the Governor of Nasarawa State, Engr Abdullahi A. Sule, thanked the Federal Government for coming to their aid to support the people of 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 of State for Labour and Employment for the additional 50 beneficiaries that would not only be trained but will be 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 it.

The Governor then donated 304 hectares of land to the National Directorate of Employment for Vocational and Agricultural Training Centre in Nasarawa State.

Earlier, the Director-General, National Directorate of Employment, Dr Nasir Mohammed Ladan Argungu, said that as part of its mandate, the Directorate run skill acquisition programmes aimed at creating employment through entrepreneur skills development.

“Our aim is to ensure that the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of Mr. President, and his promise to Nigerians to take out 100million Nigerians out of poverty in the next ten years becomes a reality”.

He thanked the State Government for providing land to NDE to build its permanent office in the state.

He said that the event was to flag off MEES to 500 beneficiaries from Nasarawa State adding that the disbursement of the loans was on its first phase, and more were in the pipeline.

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