Chima Azubuike | Punch
No fewer than 22 beneficiaries including four persons with disabilities have received N100,000 each from the National Directorate of Employment, to boost the agricultural value chain in Gombe State.
The beneficiaries were trained in production, storage, processing, post-harvest handling and management, preservation, packaging and marketing.
Speaking during the presentation of the second batch of 50 per cent release of the 2022 budget for the agricultural enhancement scheme to 22 graduated trainees of the Rural Employment Promotion department, the Director-General, Abubakar Fikpo, said the directorate had over the years, vigorously pursued its mandate through series of employment generation initiatives.
Fikpo, who was represented by the State Coordinator, Jediel Stephen, reminded the beneficiaries to see the gesture as a rare opportunity which should not be allowed to fail.
He noted that it was simply a loan facility which should be returned duly.
He said, “Remember that with the loan 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, loan empowerment provides you with the required entrepreneurship. You should therefore justify these efforts by putting in your best to succeed and repay the loan in due time so that other unemployed youth will benefit subsequently. The NDE attaches a very high premium on the multiplier effect of the loan schemes for increased job creation.”
Also speaking, the Head of the Department of REP, Edem Duke, who was represented by the Human Resources Department NDE headquarters, Fatima Maiyaki, called on the 22 beneficiaries to remain focused on their training towards making profits.
“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, saddled with the responsibility of generating employment opportunities in the agricultural sector for the unemployed youth in Nigeria,” Duke said.