Kebbi State on Wednesday began a two-week training for 10,000 youths on how to access Federal Government’s Agri-Business Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) loans.
Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Babale Umar-Yauri, told newsmen in Birnin Kebbi on Tuesday that the training formed part of the government’s efforts to encourage youths to access the loan scheme.
He noted that poor response to the loans by youths in the state showed that they needed to be shown the way to exploit the scheme to become self-reliant and productive members of the society.
“The CBN’s AGSMEIS is an opportunity for youths in the state to be self-reliant and become employers of labour if they know how they can access the loans,” he said.
Umar-Yauri explained that the government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with two consulting firms in 2020 to train more than 10,000 youths in 2021 so as to encourage them to access the loans.
“One of them from the private sector will train 8,000 youths, while the state-run Mass Literacy Programme and Almajiri Initiative (MALPAI) will train the 2,000 others.
“In view of COVID-19 and Ramadan, we have decentralised the training to parts of the state.
“The training will be conducted in Birnin Kebbi at the MALPAI Conference Centre; in Argungu at the Adamu Augie College of Education; and in Jega at the Jega College of Health Science and Technology.
“Others will hold at the Dakingari Polytechnic, College of Basic and Academic Studies in Yauri and at the Zuru, College of Agriculture,” he said.
Umar-Yauri commended the Commissioner of Information and Technology, Alhaji Abdullahi Magoro, for ensuring that youths in the state did not miss the opportunities offered by the loan training scheme.
Earlier, Magoro explained that the AGSMEIS training for 2021 was the third in the annual series.
“Applicants can get up to N10 million loan at 5per cent interest rate repayable over a seven-year period.
“Not too many have applied for the loans and that is why we are coming in to ensure that youths apply and access the loans for their betterment and for the betterment of the society,” Magoro said.