By NBF News

The National Directorate of Employment (NDE), has disbursed the sum of one million naira as loans to 50 physically challenged and other vulnerable persons in Akwa Ibom State.

The loan is another programme of the directorate designed specifically for persons with special needs who must of necessity undergo at least three-month skills acquisition training in such trades like tie and dye, shoe and leather works, soap production, industrial tailoring and hairdressing.

The state co-ordinator of the directorate, Mr. Joseph Modey, said on Thursday the latest set of 50 persons loaned N20,000 each, were among the 100 less privileged people so far empowered by the agency to be able not only to fend for themselves but also be employers of labour in the nearest future.

'Our achievements in our various employment generation programmes in Akwa Ibom have been very encouraging as over 30, 000 unemployed youths have obtained skills in over 80 vocational trades while up to 30,000 have acquired skills in livestock management, field crop production and gardening.

'More than 2500 graduates of tertiary institutions have been placed on attachment programme in both private and public sectors to gain cognate experience in industry and for possible retention as permanent employees.

'Entrepreneurship development training has been given to over 5000 graduates of tertiary institutions, including NYSC members to ignite in them the business spirit needed for enterprise creation and self employment,' Modey said.

He explained that women were given special attention by NDE, through the Women Employment Programme (WEP), by specially training and empowering them in income-generating activities to bolster revenue base of the home and arrest possible drift into unwholesome practices like child abuse and trafficking.

The co-ordinator said more than 1000 women had so far been trained and empowered either as individual or under co-operative societies while others were given skills in basic business training to enhance their small scale business management capacity.

He said the directorate was embarking on decentralisation of the training to other senatorial districts, which would enable about 50 unemployed persons and potentially restive youths in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area to receive three-month vocational training in various trades as well as N40,000 empowerment starter packs.

The ALGON chairman in the state and Chairman of Essien Udim Local Government Area, Mr. Nse Ntuen, represented by his deputy, Mr Etido Dan, commended the NDE for the programmes, which, he said, had helped to elevate the people from obscurity to positions becoming capable of taking care of themselves.

He charged the beneficiaries to go and spread the message that the federal government and its agencies had touched the lives of the less privileged. He also asked them to tell other youths to desist from social vices like robbery and kidnapping.