By Akanji Alowolodu, Gombe
Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State has flagged-off disbursement of funds to women under the Micro Enterprise Enhancement Scheme (MEES), with a call on beneficiaries to utilize the funds for self economic emancipation.
The Micro Enterprise Enhancement Scheme MEES is coming on the heels of Governor Yahaya’s shuttle to the headquarters of the National Directorate of Employment, (NDE) where the Federal Government Agency heeded to his lobbying efforts to empower rural women and youths in Gombe State.
Addressing the beneficiaries at the new banquet hall of the Government House, Governor Yahaya said the scheme specifically aims at assisting unemployed women and youths, especially in rural communities to boost their small businesses.
Governor Yahaya charged the beneficiaries to utilize the opportunity for the overall good of their families and the larger society, saying women are as good as their male counterparts and should therefore not be intimidated by realities and circumstances but to strive for the zenith at all times.
Governor Yahaya reiterated his administration’s commitment to alleviating poverty through policies that will attract investors, enhance economic growth and create wealth.
He said it is on record that the National Directorate of Employment has been in existence for over 20 years but not until his lobbying shuttle to the Headquarters of the Directorate that resulted in the agency allocating one thousand, one hundred slots for the MEES programme in the State.
Governor Yahaya assured the beneficiaries, particularly women in that the loan is just the beginning of many other good things to come their way, pledging more dividends of democracy for women in his administration.
The Governor lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for giving women in the State a voice through the appointment of Hajara Salim as the nation’s Ambassador to Malaysia, eulogising equally the feat attained by Hajiya Amina J. Mohammed as the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations.
He said in recognition of the pivotal role women play in nation building, his administration has appointed women in key positions of authority so as to encourage them and to also enable them contribute their quota to the growth and development of the State.
“Under my watch, we have a chairman of a local government council, female councillors in each ward. We have also appointed women to man key ministries, boards and commissions and we also have a host of others holding elective and other political posts”.
He said he is of the opinion that when women are given the opportunity to serve, development can easily permeate through the society given their central role in family management and societal development
The Governor called on women occupying elective and other political positions in the State not to betray the confidence reposed in them, but to strive and impress the larger society of the womenfolk.
The Director General of the National Directorate of Employment, represented by the State coordinator, Hassan Mustapha said the flag-off of the Micro Enterprise Enhancement Scheme forms part of the Directorate’s mandate to eradicate poverty and empower the people, especially rural dwellers.
He said the disbursement was facilitated by Governor Yahaya who painstakingly visited the Headquarters of the Directorate in Abuja to seek for assistance for rural women and youths that are into small scale businesses.
The Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Naomi Joel Awak had earlier applauded the Governor for his lobbying acumen which led to the disbursement exercise.
She appealed to the beneficiaries to make better use of the funds collected in order to uplift their individual living conditions and those of their families.
The cash disbursement will continues with each of the 11 LGAs having 100 beneficiaries that will collect 10 thousand naira each as contained in a statement by Ismaila Uba Misilli Director- General, (Press Affairs), Government House, Gombe.