Nasarawa Government has empowered no fewer than 150 women across the state with N20, 000 each as startup grant to establish businesses following their recent skills acquisitions training.
Gov. Abdullahi Sule made this known in Lafia on Tuesday at the disbursement of the grant to the 150 beneficiaries trained on entrepreneurship and skills acquisition.
Sule said the disbursement of the startup grant was in fulfilment of his pledge to the beneficiaries in June, 2020, when he inaugurated the Training Programme on Women Entrepreneurial and Skill Acquisitions.
He said the aim was to empower women with appropriate skills to become self-reliant.
He said his administration decided to empower the trainees because women were the backbone of the informal sector, which contribute largely in driving the state’s economy.
“They are also in the forefront of sustenance of our social and community wellbeing, through the upbringing, education, as well as inculcating moral values in our children.
“This informed the resolve of this administration to prioritise the empowerment of women and youths by liberating them in order to make them active players in our economic development process.
“As a follow-up to the training programme, today’s event is to further empower the trainees with the needed resources to start-off the production of the skills acquired for self-reliance.
“In this regard, 150 women will today, benefit from a grant of N10,000 each,” he said.
He also made a personal donation of N10,000 each to the beneficiaries making a total of N20,000 each.
According to the governor, the personal donation is to encourage the trainees to put into practice what they had learnt from the training.
“I therefore charge the beneficiaries to make good and judicious use of the grants to enable us realise the purpose for which it is meant.
“As Government, we will continue to provide the needed enablement for our women and youths in line with policy objectives of providing succour to the good people of the state,” he said.
In her remarks, Hajiya Halima Jabiru, Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development, lauded the state government’s support and commitment towards the well-being of women in the state.
She said that the beneficiaries drawn from the 13 Local Government Areas of the state were trained in entrepreneurship as well as skills acquisitions including production of hand sanitiser, liquid soap, body lotion, perfumes, cakes, bread making, food processing, and packaging among others.
“The training is targeted at building women careers and empowering them for self reliance so that they can support their families and contribute to the economic development of the state,” she said.
Jabiru added that the grant would serve as stimulus for the women to realise their dreams as entrepreneurs.
She appealed to the governor to approve the development of business plans that would enable the beneficiaries access loans from
the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) Microfinance bank up to the tune of N5 million depending on the nature of their venture.
“We have no doubt that the enthusiasm and commitment exhibited by the women so far will help them secure loans which will not only expand their businesses but also impact positively on our economy,” she said.
Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye and Isaac Ukpoju
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