Lalong empowers over 10,000 Youths , says employment topmost priority of his administration
By Golok Nanmwa ,Jos
Plateau state Governor Simon Lalong on Monday reiterated his determination to continue to reduce, and “subsequently banish poverty” among youths in the state, noting that youth empowerment and employment is in the front burner of his administration.
The Governor, who declared this during the inauguration of the third phase of Simon Lalong Empowerment Scheme (SLEMS) in Jos on Monday, said he was happy that he has not let down Plateau people in this regard, adding that the establishment of the Plateau State Microfinance, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (PLASMEDA) via an Executive Bill was a clear pointer in that regard.
He added that over 2,000 market women and traders were recently engaged in the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP), which enabled them to access micro-credit facilities to grow their businesses.
Announcing that very soon another batch of 2,000 will benefit from same facility, the Governor also said he was pleased that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in collaboration with PLASMEDA has mobilized over 1,000 Agric Businesses and SMEs in the state to benefit from the CBN’s Agric Small and Medium Enterprise Scheme (AGSMEIS) loan facility.
Lalong said that under the first phase of SLEMS that captured 3,000 participants, over hundred inputs were donated to the best three graduating participants across the various skills in all 17 Local Government Areas (LGAs), including women, youth, and people living with disabilities.
In the second phase of SLEMS, the Governor said, “Over 3,400 participants were captured with another 200 youths trained under the National Industrial Skill Development Programme (NISDP) in collaboration with the Industrial Training Fund (ITF).
Inaugurating 4,500 youths for the third phase, Lalong also proudly announced that, “Plateau State SME was recognized and awarded the overall best in the country this year. This was made possible through the support and encouragement of PLASMEDA which culminated in a giant leap to national recognition.
Lalong therefore offered the owner of the SME, Mr. Jerry Mallo a 3-bedroom bungalow for making the state proud by winning the award. He also gave a car gift to his father. He said the gesture was to encourage other youths and young entrepreneurs to strive for the best in their endeavours.
The Governor also offered one Mrs. Abigail, a ground nut seller and a tricycle (Keke Napep) and a sum of N150,000 to enhance her business.
Director of PLASMEDA, Mr. Haggai Haruna Gutap, Chairman, Plateau Youth Council, Dr. Jemchang Forbon, Traditional and Religious leaders, all lauded the Governor for his gesture towards youth empowerment.
count | 53