Abuja - The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) said on Monday that it had disbursed N117 million under its Special Micro Enterprises Empowerment Scheme (SMEES) for 11,700 persons in 31 states of the federation.
Edmund Onwuliri, the NDE Information Officer, made this known in an interview with media personnel in Abuja.
He said that the fund would be used to train the beneficiaries in various fields under the scheme which was approved in November 2014.
Onwuliri said that 11,700 persons compriising 3,971 males and 7,729 females were benefitting from the scheme.
According to him, 1,026 are engaged in farming and agro-allied ventures, 252 in food processing, 961 in confectionary/catering while the remaining 9,461were engaged in petty trading.
He said that N24 million was disbursed for the first phase of the project which involved eight states while N93 million was disbursed for the second phase covering 31 states.
Also read: Committee established to lead Borno reconstruction
"The Management, in November 2014, magnanimously approved the disbursement of N93 million to 31 states of the federation at the rate of N3 million per state for the implementation of Special Micro Enterprise Empowerment Scheme.
"This novel and spectacular Scheme was aimed at assisting micro-enterprise owners to enhance their businesses.
"It has also improved the standard of living as well as giving employment opportunity to others."
According to him, N10, 000 was given as grant to each of the beneficiaries.
Onwuliri said that those selected included vulnerable persons -- widows and the very poor who engage in various petty trading.
He said that 300 participants were selected from each state representing 100 participants per senatorial district.