Calabar — The Cross River Government has earmarked N500 million for youths empowerment programme in the state. Mr Terence Elemi, the Manager of Microfinance and Enterprise Development Agency, disclosed this in an interview with reporters in Calabar.
He said the state government in collaboration with the Bank of Industries (BOI) made the N500 million available as loan to empower the youth in the areas of processing and manufacturing in the state.
"We are already collecting and processing business plans and reviewing them for submission to give out the loan for them".
Elemi said that the Agency had so far trained 270 young graduates 15 people from each of the Local Government Areas on Enterprise Development and Facilitation Skills.
"the ones we trained we use them whenever we do our programmes and they help us in training others too.
"The Agency was set up to encourage the growth and development of micro, small and medium enterprises.
"We do a lot of capacity building training, access to credit; cheap and reliable credit and work in collaboration with banks to make sure that people we train get credit facility from bank to go about the business.
"We monitor and ensure that businesses progress and the money collected must be used for the proposed business."
Elemi said that the agency had intervened in three core areas in the state on capacity building for process improvement, access to cheap and reliable finance and credit were given out at single digit interest rate.
He said the Agency had also trained and accessed credit for 230 young farmers across the state.
"One hundred and thirty of the beneficiaries are from Yakurr, while 100 are from Ogoja .
"The beneficiaries have started harvesting their produce and one of the farmers was the second best harvester at the new yam festival in Yakurr, held in August. NAN