Bauchi State Government has initiated a N2 billion empowerment programme to empower 10,000 youth and women in the state.
Alhaji Dayyibu Chiroma, Commissioner for Information and Communication, said the scheme was being under the Gov. Bala Mohammed empowerment programme tagged: ”Kaura Economic and Empowerment Programme (KEEP).”
He said that 12 of the 20 local government areas of the state had so far benefited from the scheme, with each getting between N75 million and N80 million.
The Commissioner said the empowerment programme would be expanded to cover the remaining eight LGAs before May 29.
Chiroma said the scheme was designed to empower 500 youth and women in each of the 20 LGAs, as part of proactive measures to reduce poverty and enhance wealth creation in the society.
He said that the state government had so far procured and distributed 2,000 tricycles, 500 cars, thousands of sewing machines and other economic strengthening kits as well as goats to encourage animal husbandry.
“In terms of development, there is no way you will isolate women and youth and think you could have peaceful and relative development in the society.
“During electioneering campaign, Gov. Bala Mohammed promised that his administration would accord priority to the development of women and youth.
“In fulfillment of these campaign promises, the administration through the Ministry of Cooperative and Social Development initiated the KEEP.
“Under the KEEP over 500 vehicles were distributed to members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the state to serve as avenue of alleviating poverty,” he said.
According to him, more than N200 million has been earmarked for the implementation of the KEEP scheme in Bauchi LGA.
He said that Bauchi LGA got the lion share of allocation under the programme due to high population of youth and women in the area.
“The beneficiaries are given the privilege to select trade of their choice to ensure effective utilisation of the items given to them and sustainablity of the programme.
”It is interesting to note that the governor is going round the local government areas to personally distribute the equipment and cash to the beneficiaries,” he said.
While reiterating commitment to the development of Small and Medium Scale Entreprises (SMEs), Chiroma urged the people to support government policies and programmes for sustainable development of the state. (NAN)