The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has empowered 228 unemployed persons with N22.8 million to set up and manage small-scale agricultural enterprises in their chosen areas in the country.
The agency’s director-general, Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo, disclosed in Enugu on Friday while disbursing the facility to the beneficiaries.
The DG, represented by the NDE Enugu State coordinator, Eugene Agu, said the prospective beneficiaries were persons trained by the department of the Rural Employment Promotion (REP) in 12 states, including Enugu.
Mr Fikpo said that out of the 288 beneficiaries in the country, 19 persons were empowered in Enugu with N100,000 each.
He said in driving this policy, the NDE identified a lot of demand-driven labour-intensive skills in technical, vocational, domestic, entrepreneurial, and agricultural enterprises to close the skills gap among young unemployed graduates and school leavers searching for employment.
Mr Fikpo explained that the loan empowerment provided beneficiaries with the required finances for entrepreneurship. He urged them to justify these efforts by doing their best to succeed and repay the loan in due time so that other unemployed youths would also benefit.
Also speaking, the director, Rural Employment Promotion Department, Duke Eden, said the department was implementing the 2023 sustainable agricultural development and empowerment scheme for the NDE-trained youth.
Mr Eden explained that the programme would create employment and generate wealth that would go a long way in reducing the number of unemployed persons in the country.