Minister of state for labour and employment, Festus Keyamo has said that the federal government has in the last five years disbursed N100bn to unemployed youths and small businesses.
Keyamo said this at an empowerment programme held in Jos, in which he was represented by the Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo, Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).
In a statement released on Sunday December 19, the Minister disclosed that the disbursement of N100 billion was done through the Development Bank of Nigeria since 2017.
“You will all agree with me that unemployment is one of the remote causes of banditry, terrorism, corruption and other forms of criminality.
“Even though the Federal Government is working hard at check terrorism and all other forms of criminality and violent crimes, it is equally prosecuting the war against mass unemployment.
“I am proud that the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), whose board I am privileged to chair and also directly supervise, is effectively leading that war against mass unemployment.
“Let me inform you all that the Federal Government has put all plans in place to ensure that businesses succeed in Nigeria.
“The present administration has launched a series of funding and capacity development initiatives designed to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
“Since 2017, the Development Bank of Nigeria has disbursed a total of N100 billion through the bank’s 27 participating financial institutions (PFIs), thereby impacting more than 100,000 MSMEs.
“It is heartwarming to note that 52 percent of loans disbursed in 2019 and 2020 were to youths and women-owned businesses.”