The Katsina State Economic Empowerment Directorate (KASEED) has so far disbursed over N2.1 billion to groups and individuals to expand their Small and Medium Enterprises (SMES) businesses across the state.

Alhaji Abdulkadir Nasir, the Special Adviser to the state governor in charge of KASEED, who made this known to newsmen in Katsina, said the funds were disbursed as loan to 90,677 beneficiaries in the state.

According to him, the disbursements were made in two batches of N115.9 million and N1.8 billion respectively to selected beneficiaries for the expansion of their trades.

Giving a breakdown of some of the distribution, he said 34 cooperatives were given a total of N272 million for on-lending to it’s members, while 7,000 of them got N50, 000 each to establish small businesses.

“Another N47.5 million was given to Groups of business owners in Katsina (N10 million), Daura, Malumfashi, and Funtua (N7.5 million each), and Kankia, Dutsinma and Mani council areas (N5 million each)”.

Similarly, he added that, 283 cooperatives, representing 14,150 beneficiaries got N706 million while 34 other associations that consist of two persons from each of the 361 wards, received N70 million for start up as well as expansion of their businesses.

Nasir revealed that the directorate in collaboration with North West Entrepreneurship Development Centre (NWEDC) conducted entrepreneurship training for some 500 unemployed youths selected from across the state.

He added that 60 per cent of the youths were women and the rest 40 percent men, saying that each of them got a grant of N100, 000 as capital to set up SMEs.

The Special Adviser, however, maintained that the directorate is also looking at the possibility of extending its services to secondary and tertiary schools across the state, with a view to training the students in various vocational skills before they graduate to reduce dependence on parents.

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