Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, today flagged off the much awaited NEXIT/CBN Agri-Business Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme for exited N-Power beneficiaries batches A and B.
A press release issued by the Special Adviser on Media to the minister, Ms. Nnneka Ikem Anibeze, said that out of the 467,183 trainees who indicated interest, 75,600 will participate in the first phase of the orientation programme expected to lead up to collection of loans of up to N3 million from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) if they qualify.
At the flag-off ceremony, which took place today at the Press Centre, Radio House, in Abuja, the minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Bashir Nura Alkali, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his administration’s unwavering efforts in eradicating poverty in the country and for supporting and sustaining the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP).
She also congratulated the 467,183 trainees who indicated interest in the NEXIT CBN AGSMEIS programme from the 500,000 batches A and B exited beneficiaries.
Hajiya Sadiya noted that this is the first of several other phases that will take place in all the 36 states and the FCT.
She said: “It has been my desire that the exited batches A and B N-Power graduate beneficiaries will not be left unattended to. In different channels, I kept on assuring these teaming youths that the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has worked very closely with the Central Bank of Nigeria to realize this dream.
“Today marks the beginning of the fulfilment of this awaited training that will enable those beneficiaries that indicated interest to participate in the CBN empowerment programme.
“For ease of coordination, this training programme will be conducted in phases. Let me also inform you that all the 36 states and FCT are participating in this long-awaited NEXIT training programme.
“A total of 75,600 participants are in this first batch of the training. We will continue to train the remaining batches in no distant time.
“The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development is committed to ensuring that the strategic objectives of all the social intervention programmes are harnessed to achieve the desired goals and objectives.
“The N-Power programme is a critical part of the National Social Investment Programmes domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development designed to achieve the national objectives of poverty reduction and job creation.
“The N-Power programme is key to helping young Nigerians acquire and develop life-long skills that ensure they become solution providers and entrepreneurs in their communities.”
In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, who was represented by the Director of Planning, Research and Statistics in the ministry, Mr. Raphael Oraeluno, charged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the opportunity.
He said: “I will want to emphasise that every trainee must see this unique opportunity as a blessing that must not be wasted. Recall how we journeyed into this. You have finally gotten this opportunity. Maintain the highest level of seriousness in all that you will be taught throughout the training programme and thereafter. As beneficiaries, you will be equipped with the necessary training that will guarantee your participation in the CBN package meant for this purpose.”
The National Coordinator, National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP), Dr Umar Bindir, also advised the beneficiaries to take advantage of the CBN package to be self-reliant.
At the end of the five-day training, beneficiaries who qualify will receive loans of up to N3 million with a maximum tenure of seven years.