By Obioma C. Appolos
To sustain the tempo of its aggressive job creation efforts, the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has again empowered about six thousand Nigerian youth and women in its recent job creation scheme outing in Edo State ( The Heart Beat of Nigeria).
According to a statement by the Directorate’s Deputy Director Information and Public Relations, Edmund Onwuliri, the high point of the heart warming empowerment scheme was graced by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment Mr. Festus Keyamo, who flagged off of the Special Public Works Scheme and the disbursement of Micro Credit Loans, as well as the resettlement of graduated trainees under the Vocational Skills Development Programme in Benin City the Edo State capital.
The statement further said that about five thousand persons drawn from five rural local government areas of Edo state were engaged under the Special Public Works Scheme, currently under pilot phase.
According to the statement, “The beneficiaries under this scheme will be deployed to provide services specific to their localities in areas such as cleaning of public infrastructure, maintenance of public facilities like roads, vegetation control, clearing of drainages and the like.
“Each participant will be paid a stipend of N20,000.00 per month over the period of three months the pilot phase of the scheme will last. The Minister added that women and youths between the ages of 18 and 35 are the target group for the scheme.”
Furthermore, the statement revealed that “One Thousand and Sixty Nine micro enterprises received micro loans to enhance their businesses during the event.” It also added that “The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, appreciated the Federal Government for choosing Edo State as one of the beneficiaries of the various interventions designed by the NDE to address the challenge of mass unemployment.”
The Edo State Governor however, urged NDE to give empowerment of women a serious attention, saying that empowering women would have immediate positive impact on the family. He also charged the beneficiaries to make maximum use of the opportunities that the Federal Government has provided them through the NDE promising to support the implementation of the schemes through effective monitoring.
The statement also noted that “Forty One persons previously trained by the NDE under the Vocational Skills Development Programme, received resettlement tools to enable them commence business in relevant trades. The lucky beneficiaries had received vocational training in sixteen trades such as; Fashion design, Welding and Metal Fabrication, Catering, Vulcanizing, Computer Operations, GSM Handset Repairs among others.”
The Director-General of the NDE Dr. Nasir Mohammed Ladan, stated that the agency is poised to actualizing the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari towards lifting One Hundred Million poor Nigerians out of poverty in the next ten years. The Director-General put the total cost of the empowerment in Edo State at over Nine Hundred Million Naira.