The National Directorate of Employment (NDE), through the Rural Employment Promotions (REP) Department has disbursed N4.2m loan to 42 farmers in Ogun State.
Speaking at the Orientation and Verification ceremony, the Director General Mallam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo, represented by the State Coordinator, Mr. Alao Babatunde Ismail, said the agricultural sector carries tremendous potential for eradicating poverty and creating employment, saying if harnessed, it would boost the economy and increase the gross domestic product through its export potential.
He stated that the loan disbursed is meant to encourage the farmers and to assure them of the Federal Government’s support. He added that the 42 beneficiaries were drawn from various REP Training progrmmes to benefit from the available loan schemes namely – Sustainable Agricultural Development Empowerment Scheme (SADES); Agribusiness Enhancement Scheme (AES); Graduate Agricultural Empowerment Scheme (GAES); and Community-based Agricultural Empowerment Scheme (CBAES).
The Head of Department, Rural Employment Promotions, Abuja, Mr. Edem Duke represented by Mrs. Olaoye Tola, said the loan should not be diverted into other ventures, but used for agricultural investment and the agribusiness value chain.
The loans officer for the state, Mr. Ajayi Olanipekun informed the farmers that the loan carries a moratorium period of six months after which the farmers are expected to start paying back for duration of three years.
In his welcome address, Head of Department of REP, NDE Ogun, Mr. Omitogun Azeez, said each of the selected loan beneficiaries got N100, 000 to boost their agricultural businesses.
One of the participants, Alhaji Olatunde Bakare, who gave the vote of thanks, appreciated the Federal Government and the entire management of NDE for the laudable initiative.