The Kebbi Government on Wednesday reassured youths in the state of its commitment toward improving their social and economic well-being.
The state Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Alhaji Gidado Kaliyal, gave the assurance in Birnin Kebbi during an interactive session between government officials and various youth groups.
He said that the government would strengthen their capacity as productive members of the society, and expressed confidence in the ability of youths as vanguards of societal development.
Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Budget and Economic Development, Dr Abba Sani-Kalgo, said that the forum was not to apportion blame about the challenges facing the state and the nation.
“It is rather, to forge ahead in uplifting the living conditions of youths, through gainful profitable ventures,” he said.
On his part, the Commissioner for Information and Culture, Alhaji Mahmud Warrah, said the ministry would continue to sensitise the public on government empowerment programmes, especially on agriculture and entrepreneurship.
Malam Yahaya Sarki, the Special Adviser to the state governor on Media, called for sustained awareness on various empowerment programmes offered by the state and federal governments.
A representative of small and medium entrepreneurs, Alhaji Nasiru Bello, lamented over the high rate of unemployment among youths, especially graduates of universities and polytechnics.
He advised the youths to access various empowerment programmes of government meant to empower them.
“In mitigation of this, President Muhammadu Buhari set aside N75 billion for the youths to access through the SMEs, to start businesses of their own,” he said.
Bello informed the youths that interested applicants should register on-line to access between N250,000 to N3 million soft loan.
He commended Gov. Atiku Bagudu for setting the pace in agricultural revolution in the country through rice production, while advising potential beneficiaries to utilise the services offered by the SMEs.
Similarly, a representative of NIRSAL, Malam Aliyu Abdulrazaq, explained the Federal Government’s resolve towards assisting youths to engage in commercial ventures.
He also spoke about the National Youth Initiative Fund (NYIF) through which youths could obtain money to expand existing businesses or start fresh ones.
A representative of the CBN, Alhaji Sabo Altine, explained numerous intervention schemes by the apex bank towards tackling unemployment, youth empowerment and agricultural production.
He said that several loan packages, with minimal interest, were available to enable the youths to be self employed and employers of labour.
A cross section of the youths called for the sustenance of the interaction. (NAN)