The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, says that the federal government has spent N100 billion on unemployed youths in the country.

Mr Keyamo made this claim in a statement made available by his media office on Sunday in Abuja.

The minister, represented by the Director General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Abubakar-Nuhu Fikpo, said this during the launch of the disbursement of empowerment items to women in Jos, Plateau State.

The N100 billion, according to the minister, was disbursed via the Development Bank of Nigeria from 2017 to facilitate Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with the view to creating jobs to the country’s teeming unemployed.

“Since 2017, the Development Bank of Nigeria has disbursed a total of N100 billion through the bank’s 27 participating financial Institutions (PFIs), thereby impacting more than 100,000 MSMEs.

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“It is heartwarming to note that 52 per cent of loans disbursed in 2019 and 2020 were to youths and women-owned businesses,” he said.

Mr Keyamo, while addressing the beneficiaries, noted that the NDE empowerment of women was designed to ensure that the beneficiaries and trainees acquire relevant and marketable skills that would galvanise them into starting their own businesses.

”Our goal is to provide them with quick income-generating opportunities because of their roles in providing family support and sound social stability at the very foundation of society,” he said.

He, however, added that the women were also trained in interior decoration, make-over, auto gele tying, food processing and packaging.

“I am glad to inform you that each of the participants will be given a loan package ranging from N100,000, to N150,000, depending on their choice of skill, to start their own businesses in order to exit the labour market.

“This will enable them to become more responsible to their family and immediate environment,”he added.

NAN

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