The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) on Thursday disbursed N8 million loan to 235 women and youths in Ebonyi through its Micro Enterprise Enhancement Scheme (MEES), and Start Your Own Business (SYOB) schemes.
The Director-General of NDE, Malam Abubakar Nuhu-Fikpo, during the disbursement in Abakaliki, said that the loan was to empower artisans and market women to enhance their operational capacity under MEES.
Nuhu-Fikpo, who was represented by the directorate’s Coordinator in Ebonyi, Mr Marcel Igboanude, said the business loan was distributed to the beneficiaries from the three senatorial districts of the state after training by NDE.
“Today, we are gathered here to mark the disbursement of a total business loan of N8 million to 235 women and youths in Ebonyi.
“The sum of N4. 6 million loan will be disbursed to 228 beneficiaries at N20, 000 each to enable them enhance their businesses under MEES of NDE.
“While the sum of N3. 5 million loan will be disbursed to seven unemployed graduates at N500, 000 each to set up and grow businesses under SYOB.
“The money will be paid to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries immediately,” he said.
The D-G noted that the loan attracted a single digit interest rate of nine per cent based on simple interest rate.
“It also attracts a moratorium period ranging from three to six months for MEES and SYOB loans respectively.
“I wish to enjoin the beneficiaries of these loans to invest with the funds judiciously to enable to grow their businesses and repay the loans appropriate.
“This will ensure that the loan is recycled for the benefit of other unemployed persons,” Nuhu-Fikpo advised.
Mr Sunday Apakasa, the Director, Small-scale Enterprises (SSE), Department of NDE, Abuja headquarters, represented by Mr Ekea Awah Ekea, also urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the loan.
Similarly, Mr Emeka Okoroafor, the Head of Unit, Loans in NDE said the loan was to make sure women and youths were gainfully employed.
“Remember to always pay back the loan given to you. When you pay, others will have the chance to benefiting.”
Responding, on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mrs Jane Okoh, commended the Federal Government and NDE for disbursing the loan.
Okoh, however, pledged to enhance her business in order to repay it to enable others to benefit.