By Bashir Hassan
In continuation of an empowerment program by the Bauchi State Government, 55 Million Naira worth of empowerment packages were distributed to over 600 beneficiaries in Ganjuwa Local Government Area of Bauchi State.
Governor Bala Mohammed, in his address during the distribution exercise on Tuesday at Kafin Madaki, the LG’s headquarters, said the gesture was a deliberate effort by his administration to improve the economic status of the beneficiaries in the local government.
He said the empowerment program tagged “Kaura Economic Empowerment Program” (KEEP), is being implemented across all the 20 LGAs of the state after carrying out need assessment of the beneficiaries.
He said that in Ganjuwa LG, 500 selected vulnerable beneficiaries will be given the sum of 50,000.00 each to boost their existing businesses.
Some other beneficiaries according to the Governor will be given starter packages that includes grinding machines, bags of raw groundnuts for oil extraction, livestock, gerrycans of cooking oil and cash.
Governor Bala Mohammed appeal to the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the empowerment packages stressing that, “ I hope you would use these packages to start a little business to enhance your economic status and also assist other members of your families and immediate environment”.
Also speaking, the permanent secretary in Bauchi State Cooperative and Small and Medium Enterprise Agency, Barrister Buhari Mohammed Disina said, the distribution of the empowerment packages is a clear indication of State’s Government efforts towards improving the poverty level in the state, especially in the rural areas.
Disina, whose agency is the implementing body of the KEEP initiative, said Governor Bala Mohammed has given the agency all the necessary support for the smooth implementation of the empowerment program that is projected to target over 10,000.00 beneficiaries across the state.
“Due to the enabling environment of the current administration and Governor’s Bala Mohammed disposition towards enhancing living standards of the people, especially in the rural areas, some partners in skills acquisition agencies have expressed their readiness to partner with Bauchi State in impacting skills to youth in Bauchi State”, said the permanent secretary.
In her goodwill message at the occasion, the wife of the state governor, Hajiya Aisha Bala Mohammed thanked the state government for identifying with the plight of women and other vulnerable groups in state.
She also commended her husband for the tremendous support her pet project, under the Almuhibbah Foundation has been receiving in her empowerment projects.
Aisha Bala Mohammed then appealed to the beneficiaries to put use the starter packages to kick-start a petty trading and to also plough back part of the profits back into the business saying, “this is how small businesses grow everywhere”.
Our correspondent reports that during the occasion, cars were also distributed to party stalwarts at the local government.
Meanwhile, similar exercise took place in Darazo local government area, where over 700 vulnerable members of the LG benefited from the empowerment intervention.