The Kaduna State Government disbursed N500 million interest-free micro-credit loans to selected unemployed youths and women traders within the last one year, Gov. Patrick Yakowa has said.
Yakowa said during the distribution of poverty alleviation materials in the Kaduna Central Senatorial District at the Kaduna Township Stadium that the effort succeeded through collaboration with micro-finance institutions.
He noted that an unspecified number of the beneficiaries had now set up various small-scale enterprises.
The programme had earlier been launched on Monday in Kafachan, Jema’a Local Government Area, where the state government said it had earmarked N153 million as micro-credit loans to finance small-scale enterprises.
Yakowa said on Wednesday that the state government would strive to reduce poverty among the vulnerable groups by assisting them to set up more small-scale businesses to meet family needs and help grow the economy.
The governor urged the beneficiaries to support government in its poverty eradication programme by sustaining such businesses.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Poverty Alleviation, Mr Yohanna Chindo, had said that similar items had been distributed in the Southern Senatorial District.
Chindo said the beneficiaries were mostly the less privileged, women associations and youth organisations, which received training and were willing to establish small-scale businesses.
According to him, 7,630 traders and unemployed youths are benefiting from the N153 million interest-free loans being disbursed across the 255 wards in the state.
The commissioner said 30 people in each of the wards would benefit to tune of N20,000 to help them set up businesses that were less capital intensive.
A breakdown shows that 2,610 people will benefit to tune of N52,200,000 each from senatorial districts I and III, while 2,410 others will receive N48,600,000 from district II.
Reports said that the beneficiaries are expected to repay the loan within eight months.
Meanwhile, 2,369 people in the 23 local government areas are also expected to benefit from various poverty alleviation items, which include grinding and welding machines as well as irrigation pumps for dry season farming.
Chindo said the state government had further set aside N23 million to be disbursed to 103 less privileged persons in the local council areas through development associations.
Similarly, the state government distributed 10 Peugeot 307 cars for township commercial transportation and pledged to provide 100 buses for similar purpose under the auspices of the Kaduna State Transport Authority.
It also distributed 1,500 crash helmets to commercial motorcyclists in the three senatorial districts in an effort to reduce head injuries sustained by the motorcyclists during accidents, the commissioner said.