No fewer than 73 people on Thursday benefitted from the rural employment promotion department of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE)) in Benue State.
The beneficiaries were given N100,000 soft loans each to start their own agribusinesses.
The Director-General of NDE, Mallam Abubakar Fikpo who was represented by the state coordinator of NDE, Agada William while addressing the beneficiaries in Makurdi, said that over the years, the REP department successfully implemented several circles of the Sustainable Agricultural Development Training Scheme (SADTS).
He explained that the trainees had not received assistance to begin their own businesses.
“In an attempt to stem this trend and give hope with an improved livelihood to the graduated trainees of the SADTS schemes, the REP department decided to design and implement Sustainable Agricultural Development and Empowerment Scheme (SADES) to engage graduate trainees of sustainable agricultural development training scheme across the 36 states and FCT,” he said.
Fikpo stated that the loan schemes would enable the trainees to engage in agribusinesses of crop and livestock production, processing, packaging, marketing and consumption.
Earlier, the REP’s Head of Department, Adoga Oche Gabriel, admonished the beneficiaries to invest the soft loans in agribusinesses with low capital investment and quick returns such as foodstuff storage and food processing in order to achieve the desired objective of employment generation, wealth creation and poverty eradication.
Gabriel said the loan would span through a three-year tenure with a moratorium of six months which will be in June 2023 and an interest rate of nine per cent.
While appreciating the gesture of NDE, Grace Alache on behalf of other beneficiaries said that each of them got N100,000 loan to start their own businesses and promised that the monies would be invested wisely.
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