By Awayi Kuje
The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in Nasarawa State has disbursed N100,000 each to 43 loan beneficiaries in the state.
Mr Chris Bamsida, the state Coordinator of the agency, announced this on Wednesday in Lafia at the orientation and flag-off ceremony for 43 loan beneficiaries of GAES, SADES, CBAES and AES under the 50 per cent capital budget released for 2022.
The programme covers Graduate Agricultural Empowerment Scheme (GAES), Sustainable Agricultural Development Empowerment Scheme (SADES), Community-Based Agricultural Empowerment Scheme (CBAES) and Agribusiness Enhancement Scheme (AES).
The objectives of the schemes are to empower the participants with loan package and reduce their dependency on other people thereby reducing poverty, among others, said the coordinator.
Bamsida explained that the schemes are targeted at unemployed graduates of tertiary institutions, school leavers, school dropouts and artisans who have interest in doing agribusiness.
“You may recail that 146 beneficiaries of these schemes, which represented 100 per cent of 2021 budget released, have received N100,000 each amounting to N14,600,000 in December 2021 and April 2022, respectively, in Nasarawa State,” he said.
The state coordinator said that the purpose of the ceremony was to educate the prospective loan beneficiaries on the terms and conditions of the loan disbursement.
“Each beneficiary will be given N100,000 only, thus totaling N4.3 million only, which is a loan and not a grant.
“The loan attracts a single digit simple interest rate of 9 per cent, the moratorium period for the loan is six months before the repayment commences and it is repayable in three years.
“The loan disbursed would be repaid instalmentailly in accordance with the repayment schedule stipulated in the loan agreement form,” he added
Bamsida therefore advised the beneficiaries to embrace agribusiness that would give them comparative advantage to become self employed as well as employers of labour.
He also urged the beneficiaries to use the facility judiciously and pay back the loan promptly so that other people could benefit as well.
The state coordinator said that the NDE supervisory and monitoring team would be on constant check of the beneficiaries activities to ensure compliance with the purpose of the loan.
Bamsida commended Gov. Abdullahi Sule for creating conducive environment for the directorate to operate and solicited for a robust collaboration with the state government to implement its employment generation drive.
While recommitting to realising the vision of the directorate, the coordinator also thanked the Director-General of NDE, Malam Abubakar Fikpo, for considering Nasarawa state in programme implementation.
Mrs Atungene Ita, Rural Employment Promotion Officer 1, NDE Headquarters, Abuja, commended the NDE management for evolving positive policies and programmes that would tackle unemployment and restiveness in the country.
The Nasarawa state Commissioner for Agriculture and Water Resources, Mr Nuhu Oshafu, also commended NDE for reducing unemployment in the state through its various intervention programmes.
Oshafu, who was represented by Mr Julius Kigbu, the Director of Administration and Supplies in the ministry, assured of the state government readiness to partner with NDE to tackle unemployment in the state.
In a goodwill message, Dr Umar Idris, the General Manager, Nasarawa State Vocational and Relevant Technology Board, said the board would continue to train youths in different skills acquisition programmes in the state to become self-reliant.
Responding on behalf of other beneficiaries, Mrs Helen Yadok, promised to ensure judicious use of the loan. (NAN)