The National Directorate of Empowerment (NDE) has disbursed N50,000 each to 55 people in Nasarawa State under the agency’s Community- Based Agricultural Empowerment Scheme (CBAES).

Malam Abubakar Nuhu-Fikpo, the NDE Director-General made this known during the orientation/launching ceremony of CBAES for the 55 beneficiaries in Lafia on Monday.

The director-general, represented by the Nasarawa state Coordinator of NDE, Mr Chris Bamsida, said that 660 beneficiaries were drawn in the 12 states of the federation and the ceremony is taking place simultaneously.

He said that the implementation would not have been possible without the kind support and approval of the NDE’s supervising Minister, Minister of State Labour and Employment, Dr Nkiruka Onyejeocha.

“Today we are here to flagg-off the orientation/provision of facilities to 660 beneficiaries under the 2023 Community-Based Agricultural Empowerment Scheme (CBAES)

“These prospective participants are drawn from the pool of Rural Employment Promotion (REP) trained beneficiaries in the 12 States.

“Under this scheme, 660 beneficiaries will be provided with facilities that will enable them to set up and manage small-scale off farm enterprises in their chosen areas of interest to become self-reliant, create wealth and generate employment opportunities for others,” he said.

The director-general advised the beneficiaries to see the gesture as a rare opportunity which should not be allowed to fail.

“Remember that with the facility, you have been doubly empowered.

“First, you have been trained in modern agriculture and life skills to be able to overcome the challenges of your immediate environment.

“Secondly, the facility you are receiving today provides you with the required assistance for entrepreneurship. You should therefore justify these efforts by utilising the facility and putting in your best to succeed as agric entrepreneurs,” said.

Nuhu-Fikpo said that NDE attached very high premium on the initiative due to its multiplier effect for increased job creation.

He said the Rural Employment Promotion Department through its strategy of training in modern agricultural skills and empowerment in agribusiness engagements is one of the core programme departments.

“The programme trains unemployed youths in the agricultural value chain of activities such as production, storage, processing, preservation’’.

He congratulated the beneficiaries in the 12 states.

Nuhu-Fikpo expressed gratitude to all collaborators, especially development partners, state governments, National Assembly and other stakeholders for their unwavering support.

The director-general reaffirmed that NDE would continue to do its best in addressing the challenges of unemployment in the country.

Mr Folarin Martins, the NDE Director, Inspectorate, said that the directorate has generated a lot of jobs, especially amongst the unemployed youths, women and vulnerable, among others, in the country.

Martins, represented by Mrs Oyeyemi Fausat, staff, NDE Headquarters, Abuja, urged the beneficiaries to make maximum use of the facility and become successful entrepreneurs in agro-business.

Mr Umar Dan-Akano, the Nasarawa state Commissioner for Agriculture, represented by Mr Solomon Abundaga, Director of Agricultural and Engineering Services, appreciated the NDE for being up and doing in tackling unemployment in the country.

The commissioner, who is the Chairman of the occasion, also said that the gesture would boost food security in the country.

In his goodwill message, Dr Idris Umar Idris, the General Manager, Nasarawa state Vocational and Relevant Technology Board, commended NDE for tackling youth restiveness in the country.

He assured of his readiness to collaborate with NDE and other individuals and organisations in order to train youths in different skills in the state.

Responding on behalf of other beneficiaries, Mr Mohammed Abdulrahman, a beneficiary, appreciated NDE for the gesture and promised to make judicious use of the facility.

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