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The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has commenced the second phase of distributing 100,000 naira loan to beneficiaries of the Agricultural Enhancement Scheme in Sokoto State.

Addressing the gathering in his keynote address, the Director General of NDE, Mallam Abubakar Nuhu Fipko, said a total of 276 persons drawn from 12 States of the Federation and the FCT are expected to benefit from the Agricultural Enhancement Loan Scheme.

The NDE boss, who was represented by the Sokoto State Coordinator of NDE, Malam Mustapha Aliyu Goniri, said they have identified numerous demand driven labor intensive skills in technical, vocational, domestic, entrepreneurial and agricultural enterprises to close the skills gap of that generally exist amongst unemployment graduates.

While stressing that 22 persons from Sokoto will be benefiting in this second phase of the scheme, Malam Fipko said the beneficiaries have been trained on agricultural production, storage, processing, post harvest handling and management, preservation, packaging, marketing, agricultural extension and rural sociology.

“Today we are here to flag off the disbursement of loans to 276 beneficiaries of the Agricultural Enhancement Scheme after the completion of the Post-SADTS training in 12 States and the FCT”.

He said the loan will enable them set up and manage small scale agricultural enterprise in their chosen interest to be come self reliant, create wealth and generate employment opportunities for others.

Speaking earlier in his opening remarks, the State Head of Department, Rural Employment Promotion, (REP) Malam Suraju, said the first phase took place last year December, adding that, this is the second phase of the AES loan.

On his part, Mr Joshua Fagbemi while delivering his goodwill message on behalf of Mr Eden, the REP National Director, urged beneficiaries not to see the loan as been small but good enough to start agri business.

Thanking the NDE, on behalf of the beneficiaries, Usman Mohammed assured that they will justify the confidence reposed in them and make judicious use of the money given to them.

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