Zainab Ahmed

Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, on Saturday tasked beneficiaries of the Kaduna State Women Empowerment Funds (KADWEF Loan) on prompt repayment of the loan to enable others benefit.

Ahmed gave the advice at the launch of the scheme for Zone I, held at the Federal College of Education (FCE), Zaria.

She commended Gov. Nasiru el-Rufa’i for introducing the scheme, saying that it was in line with the programme of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

She said the Federal Government’s Social Investment Scheme included N-Power Programme where about 18,000 youths from Kaduna State were presently engaged adding that about 585 youths were trained on various skills.

The minister said on N-Power Programme the federal government had spent over N4 billion in Kaduna State, adding that over one million purples of the state were also benefiting from Primary School Feeding Programme.

She said about 12,000 women were engaged in the primary school feeding programme “who on daily bases cook food for the pupils”, adding that the federal government had so far spent N8 billion in Kaduna State.

Ahmed said the third scheme was Government Enterprise Programme (GEP), adding that it was a programme similar to what is being launched today.

“This is a scheme where small loans are disburse to women, youths and men, today in Kaduna we have disbursed N1 billion to 20,000 beneficiaries.

“The fourth scheme is N5,000 assistance being given to less privileged and aged persons every month. So far N13.5 billion is spent on 10,482 people of Kaduna State.”

She reiterated that the Buhari led administration was holistically committed to the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians through frantic efforts to change their lives for the better.

Earlier in a welcome address, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hajiya Hafsat Mohammed-Baba, had said that the planning of the scheme started in 2017 by capturing it in 2018 budget last year.

She said the programme is to assist women, vulnerable persons and physically challenged people with loans to enable them get something doing to become self reliant.

“The notable initiative is designed by Kaduna State Government to improve social welfare of of its people by reducing economic and social vulnerability of the poor, vulnerable and marginalised groups, women and person with disability.

“By the grace of Almighty we are collaborating with Central Bank of Nigeria to disburse a similar gesture specifically to our brothers and sisters who are physically challenged by December this year.

“We want the programme to be all-inclusive so that we can collectively enjoy the dividends of democracy,” Mohammed-Baba noted.

She assured that Gov. El-Rufa’i promised to double the total amount disbursed this year from N200 to N400 million by next year “but only if the beneficiaries pay back the loan as at and when due.”

The commissioner also added that the governor would double it from N400 to N800 million by 2020, adding that by 2021 it would be increased to N1 billion.

The running mate of El-Rufa’i in 2019 general election, Dr Hadiza Abubakar-Balarabe appreciated women for their support to present administration in the state and urged them to sustain the tempo.

“This government is for women, therefore I want to encourage you to give it the necessary support to succeed, I also want to call on all of you to accord special priority to girl-child education.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the exercise beneficiaries were drawn from all the eight Local Government Areas of Northern Kaduna Senatorial District.

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