By Patrick Abang (CALABAR)
The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has disbursed the sum of N2.2m to unemployed youths for the promotion of agricultural value chain in Cross River State.
The Director General of the NDE, Mallam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo said in Calabar on Wednesday that the NDE has over the years vigorously pursued its mandate of employment generation through its program departments which are all geared towards sensitizing, counselling and reorienting the teeming unemployed youths to embrace self employment as a means of livelihood as well as contributing to the growth of the economy of Nigeria.
Malam Fikpo said the economy of the country will remain stagnant if agricultural production and value chain is not encouraged to grow.
The NDE boss, who was represented by the Director, South-South Zonal Office, Apakasa David, further, said each of the 22 unemployed Youths in Cross River state have received the sum of one hundred thousand naira to enhance Agricultural production.
“Today we are here to flag off the disbursement of loans to 276 beneficiaries of Agricultural Enhancement Scheme after the completion of the post SADTS training in 12 states and the FCT to enable them set up and manage small Scale Agricultural Enterprises in their chosen areas of interest to become self reliant, create wealth and generate Employment opportunities for others”,
Earlier in his welcome address, the State Coordinator of NDE, Udam Gabriel, urged the beneficiaries to utilize the money given for the purpose it was meant vis a vis the enhancement of food security, and quality of life of the Nigerian youths.
In his goodwill message to the beneficiaries, the Head of the Rural Employment Promotions Department, NDE Headquarters, Abuja, Edem Duke, stated that the event was organized to sensitize the beneficiaries on the effective utilization of the loan which will be disbursed through their banks.
The head of department who was represented by Mrs Blessing Mbiabor Owan, also congratulated the beneficiaries and strongly advised that the loans be utilized for the purpose for which it is obtained and pay back as at when due to enable other unemployed youths to also benefit from it.
One of the beneficiaries of the loan, Mr Lawrence Antigha Essien, on behalf of the beneficiaries expressed appreciation to the Federal Government for finding them worthy to benefit from the exercise and assured the Directorate that they will use the money for the purpose it is meant and pay back in due time.