Over the last four years, the Federal Government has disbursed N38 billion in loans to boost Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMSEs).
This statement was made by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who spoke at an event organized by the Aisha Buhari Foundation in Abuja on Thursday.
“A total of 38 billion in loans have been disbursed over the past for years. And of the 1.1 million beneficiaries of conditional cash transfer, 98 per cent are women,” he said.
“Of the 2.4 million beneficiaries of our Government Enterprises and Empowerment Programme, 1.4 million people were women – that is 56.4 per cent of beneficiaries were women.
He bemoaned the fact that the global COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a significant loss in income for most households in the country, as well as global economies.
Osinbajo also mentioned that employment has decreased, particularly since the pandemic primarily hit young people, who account for the majority of the workforce.
The Federal Executive Council approved a World Bank credit facility in the amount of $500 million in 2020, according to the Vice President, to finance the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment Project, which aims to improve secondary education opportunities for girls in targeted areas of participating states such as Borno, Ekiti, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, and Plateau.
“It surely has been an exciting six years,” Osinbajo said, praising the Future Assured initiative for the impact of its investments in health, education, and social welfare.
He listed some of the impactful projects executed by the initiative as “the educational initiatives, especially the Youth Education Empowerment Programme (YEEP) where large numbers of youths are given tutorial classes in preparation for WAEC, NECO, NABTEB and JAMB; and support to IDPs that return to their communities with relief materials, including foodstuff, clothing, beddings, and building materials.”
Aside from the First Lady, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, other dignitaries present at the event include Osinbajo’s wife, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo; Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State; Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire; his counterpart in the Niger Delta Affairs Ministry, Godswill Akpabio; and top United Nations officials, among others.