The National Directorate of Employment (NDE), in collaboration with Sen. Umaru Al-Makura (APC, Nasarawa South Senatorial District), has commenced disbursement of micro-loans to 2,000 people in the district.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the loan was aimed at supporting enterprises and enable beneficiaries, comprising artisans, farmers, youths and women, sustain themselves during and after the coronavirus pandemic.
The NDE Coordinator, Alhaji Dauda Wase, made this known during the flag-off of the disbursement on Wednesday in Lafia.
Wase said that the micro-loan would enhance the beneficiaries’ businesses and assist those with none to start theirs.
He said that the disbursement was done simultaneously in five centres across the senatorial district to take care of 980 beneficiaries out of the 2,000 for the initial take-off.
”The phasing and batching approach is to adhere to government’s guidelines on social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be done for the remaining beneficiaries to conclude the exercise,” the coordinator said.
He explained that each beneficiary would receive N10,000 in line with President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration’s policy of creating mass employment opportunities for the citizens.
Also speaking, Al-Makura appreciated the NDE for the initiative and for giving him the privilege to facilitate the generation of names of beneficiaries in the senatorial district.
He added that the timing of the support was apt, given the harsh impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lives of the people.
“I believe this support will go a long way in alleviating the sufferings of the people, who are not privileged to handle their businesses.
“If you consider the average woman in the market, the vulcaniser and the shoe cobbler, these are the people who desire and deserve the support,” he said.
Mr Aliyu Ahmed, a beneficiary from Keana local government area, expressed appreciation for the support and pledged to invest the loan in his farm for improved yields.
“I really appreciate this support and I promise to use it well. I will buy some things and put in my farm so that I can get more farm produce to sustain myself and my family,” he said.
Another beneficiary, Hajiya Hauwa Akabe, also lauded the gesture and pledged to invest the loan in her fabric business in order to reap more profit.
“We are very happy and appreciate the intervention of NDE and Sen. Al-Makura, because in a long while, no one has made this effort for us. We are, therefore, very happy,” she said.