By Kabir Muhammad
Abuja, Feb, 17, 2019 (NNN) No fewer than 300 women and youths, across the six area councils of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on Sunday received loans under the Micro Enterprise Enhancement Loan Scheme (MEES).
The loan disbursement, which is a collaboration between the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and FCT Administration, saw beneficiaries, mostly women, go home with N10,000 cash to start-up businesses.
It could also be used to improve on existing businesses.
Speaking at the occasion, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, said the loan was in fulfilment of the promise of the present administration to eradicate poverty from the country.
According to Bello, the aim of the loan disbursement is in tandem with the agenda of the administration to take away poverty from the poorest of the poor and make them self-reliant.
Represented by the Manager, Asset Management, Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA), Mr Chudi Ezirigwe, he stressed that the small scale loan was for women of the FCT in particular, adding that there was room for expansion.
“It is an on-going process and there is room for expansion, this is not the first time such disbursement is given; the main thing is to help the women to be self-reliant.
“Those who don’t have business can start one while those who already have can improve on what they have and move to the next level; we intend to increase the number of women who are self-reliant in Abuja,’’ he said.
For her part, FCT Coordinator of the NDE, Mrs Naomi Nyadar, said the MEES target beneficiaries were small scale business men and women, with special focus on women for the current disbursement.
“A lot of women are eager to start a business no matter how small but most of them do not have the money to start, which is why we are giving them this token; this is just a token.
“I believe women are very enterprising and very business minded; with this token, the woman who has no skill can do a lot.
“It is one of the cardinal objectives of this administration to empower women financially so that they will in turn improve on the lives of their families and add value to the society,” she said.
The coordinator explained that the women were first trained in various skills including cosmetology and catering with the NDE, to qualify them for the loan.
She said: “Ten thousand naira is a lot of money for an enterprising woman who does not have anything to start a small business or for a woman who already has one business to improve on it”.
One of the beneficiaries, Amina Musa, a widow, said the N10,000.00 loan would help her with her business and thanked the government for the initiative. (NNN)
Edited by Vivian Ihechu/Hajia Sani