The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has said it created 54 additional new micro businesses and also strengthened the existing 1,766 ones nationwide.
According to NDE, the exercise was carried out under the Small Scale Enterprises (SSE) Programme of the directorate.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja, Director-General of the NDE, Mallam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo, said N35.680 million was granted as loan to the NDE graduate trainees nationwide under the Small Scale Enterprises Programme to either establish new businesses or strengthen existing ones.
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He further said that 54 graduated trainees under the Start Your Own Business (SYOB) scheme were granted loan of N500, 000 each to start their micro businesses after the completion of their training while 1,766 other existing businesses established by the NDE were also boosted through loan disbursement under the Micro Enterprise Enhancement Scheme (MEES).
Mallam Fikpo added that 18 states benefitted from NDE’s Start Your Own Business (SYOB) across the six geopolitical zone of the federation. They include Abia, Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Gombe and Jigawa. Others are Kano, Katsina, Nasarawa, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Sokoto and the FCT, Abuja.
In like manner, disbursement of loans under the Micro Enterprise Enhancement Scheme took place in Akwa-Ibom, Adamawa, Abia, Anambra, Borno, Edo, Ekiti, Jigawa, Katsina, and Kebbi. Others are Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara States.
The DG noted that the states not captured in the present batch have enjoyed same exercise in February and March this year.
He said Small Scale Enterprises (SSE) programme is one of the four core programmes of the NDE. The programme, according to him, is designed to inculcate into the unemployed graduates of tertiary institutions and other interested persons, which include retirees, the spirit of entrepreneurship, creativity and self-reliance with a view to assisting them set up their own businesses in order to create employment for them and become employers of labour.
“The business training covers Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP), which introduces NYSC members to the opportunities for self employment; Enterprise and Finance Counselling Clinic (NDE-EFCC), a financial counseling clinic for struggling enterprises and micro business skills meant to expose school leavers, artisans and graduated trainees of the NDE’s programmes to the rudiments of enterprise creation, organisation and profitable operation.”
“The department further empowers graduates of the business trainings with soft loans as “business start up capitals.”
“Specifically, Start Your Own Business (SYOB) Scheme provides business training and facilitates establishment of micro businesses as a means of job generation and wealth creation. Micro Enterprise Enhancement Scheme (MEES), on the other hand, was designed to meet the needs of micro business operators who are desirous of expanding the scope of their businesses,” he said.
According to a statement by NDE’s Deputy Director, Information and Public Relations, Israel Adekitan, NDE has over the years committed billions of naira to entrepreneurship training and capacity acquisition and has created millions of self-employment for Nigerians especially university graduates.
These are aside loan facilities under other key programmes of the NDE such as Vocational Skills Development (VSD), Rural Employment Promotion (REP) and Special Public Works (SPW) through which diverse trainings and financial interventions have produced millions of jobs.
The DG was quoted as saying that NDE will not stop at providing skill acquisition and jobs for the unemployed, but will also explore all possible avenues to keep them in business.
Fikpo said apart from linkages to financial institutions, arrangements are in the pipeline to form the beneficiaries of NDE into cooperative groups through which soft loans can be easily accessed and utilised for business expansion.
He called on the unemployed Nigerians to avail themselves of job opportunities as presented by the Federal Government through the NDE and stop the hunt for elusive white collar jobs.
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