Joe Effiong, Uyo
A total of 310 women in Akwa Ibom State have been empowered with Micro Enterprises Enhancement Scheme (MEES) soft loan by the Federal Government through the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).
The 310 women, who received their package on Thursday in Uyo, were drawn from the 31 local government areas in the state with each LGA contributing 10 women.
The state co-ordinator of NDE, Mr Promise Ekah, said the intervention for the women was borne from the fact that if women were empowered, the whole world would be empowered.
“We see women as the best managers of resources and I hope the 310 women empowered today, will not disappoint us. The directorate believes in a gentle beginning. I hope this little touch will blossom.
“The NDE is a Federal Government intervention agency charged with the responsibility of creating jobs for the unemployed persons through four job creation programmes namely: vocational skill development, small scale enterprise development, public works and rural employment promotion.
The afore-mentioned core programmes have been tested and proved to generate mass employment opportunities for the unemployed persons in Nigeria. In Akwa Ibom State, the NDE has created employment for over 2,000 persons since inception,” Ekah said.
The women leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Mrs Magdalene Akpabio, said Akwa Ibom women particularly those supporting and confident in the APC administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, had in the past been less enthusiastic about the national social investment schemes of the Federal Government.
“Besides the fact that Akwa Ibom is governed by the PDP, women and youth of Akwa Ibom have not taken full advantage of the various social investments and poverty alleviation programmes of the APC.
“A case in point is the abysmal failure of home-grow school feeding programme in the state anchored by the PDP government. It is in the midst of such hopelessness, that Akwa Ibom women welcome and receive with delight the gesture by the NDE to embark upon this empowerment programme under the Micro Enterprises Enhancement Scheme (MEES) of the federal government.”
The special guest and state chairman of APC, Mr Ini Okopido, thanked President Muhammudu Buhari and the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige, for instituting the programme for the benefit of party members.
One of the beneficiaries, Mary Nkanta expressed the gratitude of all the beneficiaries to the NDE, and the Federal Government for “remembering Akwa Ibom women. We hope that next time it will be bigger and better.”