Kaduna Commences Disbursement Of N1 bn MSME Funds

kaduna stateThe Kaduna State Government on Thursday commenced the disbursement of another N1 billion naira intervention fund to support operators of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state.

The programme, which was executed in partnership with the Bank of Industry (BOI), was to support the accelerated development of the state through job creation, where the BOI and Kaduna state government contributed N500m each under a programme tagged ‘Graduate Support Grant’

Speaking at the flag-off ceremony, Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Nuhu Bajoga, who represented Governor Muhtar Yero, described the intervention as very critical and a major component for economic rejuvenation and prosperity of the state.

He further explained that the main aim of the programme is to empower the citizens, especially the graduates and also reduce the level of crime and poverty in the state.

Meanwhile, a mild drama ensued midway into the programme  when hundreds of graduate trainees under the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN)  stormed the venue with placards, demanding the State Governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, to release the N1 billion Graduate Empowerment Loan promised to them over five months ago after their training.

Chanting anti-government songs, the aggrieved Youths blocked the Deputy Governor’s convoy as it made its way out of Hassan Katsina House, where the event was held.

They alleged that they were promised by the government to be empowered with money to set up their own businesses immediately after their training.

The Youths also alleged that they were asked to register with money for them to be entitled to benefit from the N1 billion loan.

However, in a swift reaction, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Shekarau Uchissa, denied the allegations saying the state government only went into capacity building where 1000 youths were trained in different skills, but were not promised any money.

Kaduna Government Pays N6.73 Billion to 206 Pensioners

Ebola virusThe Kaduna State Governor, Mukhtar Yero has distributed cheques totaling  N6.73  Billion to 206 pensioners who retired between  2005 to 2012.

The cheques, which also covered death benefits of deceased civil servants  were presented during a ceremony which took place on Monday at the Hassan Katsina House, Kawo, Kaduna.

206 pensioners collected their cheques, while 77  Next of Kins collected on behalf of deceased relatives.

Handing over  the cheques to the beneficiaries, Governor Yero,  said his administration have  successfully cleared all pension arrears owed retirees in the State Civil Service and was at the verge of settling all gratuities of retirees and next of kins of deceased civil servants.

The Governor also said his administration has paid entitlements to some workers dismissed during the military era. He enjoined the beneficiaries  to use their money prudently to uplift their standard of living and assured that his administration would sustain the policy of prompt payment of pensions and gratuity.

The State  Chairman of  Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Abdul  Kwarbai, thanked the governor for responding to the plight of retirees who have served the state diligently, stating that  the presentation of the cheques was a fulfillment of a promise made by the governor.

He also declared the support of the NUP members to the political aspiration of the Governor  ahead of the 2015 general elections. Some of the beneficiaries also thanked the state government for bringing smile to their faces having suffered for too long to collect the fruits of their labour.

Few months ago, the Kaduna State Government paid a total of N4.7billion as backlog of retirement benefits for local government workers  for the past seven years.