The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in Bayelsa State has provided a loan of one hundred thousand naira (N100,000) to each of the 42 people in the state so that they can begin sustainable agricultural development.
Abubakar Fikpo, NDE director-general, applauded the trainees’ dogged persistence during the four-month programme as he addressed them at Friday’s inauguration in Yenagoa.
The state coordinator of NDE, Mr Aham Osuchuckwu, reportedly represented Fikpo, as reported by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Per the 50% capital budget for the 2022 fiscal year, he claims that each recipient will receive a soft loan of N100,000 at an interest rate of 9%.
He noted that the programme was accessible to people from all walks of life and that its recipients came from all eight of Bayelsa’s LGAs.
Seven people benefited from the Agricultural Enhancement Scheme (AES), one of four employment creation initiatives spawned by the SADTS. Eleven people benefited from the Graduate Agricultural Empowerment Scheme (GAES).
“Sustainable Agricultural Development Empowerment Scheme,” he said, “benefited 15 people, and Community Based Agricultural Empowerment Scheme,” he added.
Fikpo noted that the purpose of the opening ceremony was to help those receiving loans better understand how to apply them across the agricultural sector’s value chain.
He said the move was part of the government’s strategy to reduce overall joblessness while simultaneously boosting the generation of wealth and its economic ripple effects.
Mr Sylvester Ekemhonye, in his capacity as representative of the Director, Rural Employment Promotion, informed the recipients that, in keeping with the cashless policy of the Federal Government and instil in them a lifelong habit of banking, the loan would be deposited into their respective accounts.
As the first persons to benefit from the government’s commendable initiative, he was pleased to offer his congratulations.