By Hajara Leman
Gombe, Jan 19, 2021 The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) says it has disbursed N11 million soft loan to 1,100 women and youths in Gombe State.
The State Coordinator of NDE, Mr Hassan Mustapha, said this on Tuesday, while launching the loan disbursement in Gombe, the state capital.
Mustapha said the initiative was designed to encourage the growth of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in the state.
He said that each beneficiary got N10,000, saying the loan was a 12-month interest-free facility meant to help petty traders to boost their businesses.
He said that it was initiated by the state government, in collaboration with NDE, to empower women for sustainable economic development.
Mustapha further said the loan, if well utilized, would empower the beneficiaries economically, and enable them to exploit their full potential and live a more productive life.
“This money is a soft loan and the beneficiaries are expected to pay back within one year period,” he said.
He said the 100 beneficiaries were selected from the 11 Local Government Areas of the state for the Micro Enterprise Enhancement Scheme.
“Women are in need of empowerment to boost their petty businesses, become self-reliant and assist their children and entire home,” the state NDE boss said.
In a speech, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Mrs Naomi Awak, said the programme was part of Gov. Inuwa Yahaya’s efforts to empower women economically.
“Yahaya is truly a women-friendly governor because of his passion to alleviate the plight of women in the state.
“The policies of this administration will continue to be tailored toward making life more meaningful for all women,’’ Awak said.
She, however, urged the beneficiaries not to divert the money to personal use but utilise it for the purpose it was meant.
Aisha Ibrahim, who responded on behalf of the beneficiaries, lauded the gesture.
Ibrahim said it would go a long way to improve their economic wellbeing and help them to live a more comfortable and productive life.
She thanked the governor for his effort to ensure that many women benefited from the scheme.
She also promised that they would put the loan into effective use in order to grow their business enterprises.