The Bauchi State Government has disbursed N26.6 million to 516 youths and women in Ganjuwa Local Government Area of the state.
Gov. Bala Mohammed, stated this at the inauguration of the disbursement exercise on Tuesday in Kafinmadaki, headquarters of Ganjuwa Local Government Council.
Mohammed said that cash, motorcycles, grinding machines and other items would be distributed to the beneficiaries under the Kaura Economic Empowerment Scheme (KEEP), initiated by his administration.
He said that 16 youths would received N100,000 each while 500 others would get N50,000 each, adding that the cash disbursement was based on the trade of their choice.
Other items distributed include 100 grinding machines; 50 motorcycles and three cars as well as sheep and goats, to encourage animal husbandry.
The governor said the programme was a deliberate effort to holistically address the problem of unemployment and poverty especially among the youths and women in the state.
“These items are part of the package the state government has earmarked for its empowerment programme.
“Our administration is desirous of pulling the majority of our people out of poverty.
“To this end; we are determined to give the necessary support to our poverty alleviation and conomic empowerment agencies to effectively and efficiently discharge its responsibilities,” he said.
Commenting over the non payment of salaries to some workers, Mohammed apologised to the civil servants whose names were omitted from the state’s payroll.
“While it is true that some civil servants have not been receiving their salaries regularly, it should be pointed out that the irregularities were ab-initio caused by some corrupt civil servants who result in the inclusion of ghost workers on the payroll.
“There are also instances where retired or deceased officers were replaced on the payroll with their relatives without authorisation.
“These and other malpractices have resulted in undue increase in the wage bill of the state.
“I am happy to inform you that with the measures we have taken, the irregularities in the payment of salaries of civil servants will soon be history.
“I wish to use this opportunity to singularly apologise to the civil servants who are unduly subjected to hardship for their inadvertent omission on the payroll for some months,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the beneficiaries commended the gesture and pleged to effective utilisation of the support given to them.
Ms Aishatu Suleiman, said she would use the grinding machine given to her and engage in agricultural processing.
Suleima said the trade would enable her to raise money to take care of her family needs.
Another beneficiary, Haladu Tabazuwa, said that the goats and sheeps given to him for animal husbandry would assist him to cater for his family, adding that it would also improve the social and economic wellbeing of rural dwellers. (NAN)