By Magnus Effiong
In order to promote Agricultural value chain, the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has disbursed the sum of N2.2m to twenty-two unemployed Cross River youths in an orientation ceremony which held in Calabar, weekend.
Throwing light on activities of NDE, its Director General, Mallam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo, said the NDE has, over the years, vigorously pursued its mandate of employment generation through its program departments.
He said the programmes, “are all geared towards sensitizing, counseling and reorienting our teeming unemployed youths to embrace self employment as a means of livelihood as well as contributing to the growth of the economy of Nigeria.”
Mallam Fikpo, who was represented by the Director, South South Zonal office, Apakasa David, noted that the economy of the country would remain stagnant if agricultural production and value chain is not encouraged to grow.
He disclosed that each of the 22 beneficiaries in Cross River state was receiving the sum of one hundred thousand naira to enhance agricultural production and that the exercise was ongoing in 12 states as well the FCT Abuja.
“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,” he stated.
Also speaking, the Cross River State Coordinator of NDE, Udam Gabriel urged the beneficiaries to utilize the money given to enhance food security and improve their quality of life.
In his remarks, the Head of the Rural Employment Promotions Department, NDE Headquarters, Abuja, Edem Duke, who was represented by Mrs Blessing Mbiabor Owan, said the day’s event was organized to sensitize the beneficiaries on the effective utilization of the loan disbursed through their banks. He also advised that the loans be utilized for the purpose for which it was obtained. Responding on behalf of other beneficiaries, Mr Lawrence Antigha Essien expressed appreciation to the Federal Government for finding them worthy to benefit from the exercise and assured the Directorate of their determination to use the fund judiciously