FAVOUR SHUAIB, Abuja
The Abuja Enterprise Agency, AEA, has said its target was to ensure creation of at least 10,000 small and medium jobs between this year and 2020 as part of its mandate in job creation in the nation’s Capital.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the agency, Mohammed Tukur disclosed this while briefing journalists on the mid-term achievements of the organization and President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
“The Abuja Enterprise Agency is committed to delivering the mandate of job creation, wealth generation and the reduction of poverty in the FCT. With the support being received from the FCT Administration by the Agency, the target of creating 10,000 jobs and the reduction of unemployment rate to a single digit status by year 2020 is achievable in the FCT”, Tukur said.
He added that his agency has recorded laudable achievements, some of which include provision of business advisory, capacity building, business promotions, access to finance, consultancy and other critical services to businesses in the FCT.
Speaking more on the ‘impact matrix of the Agency’, the AEA CEO revealed that the agency supported a total of 12,539 individuals and entrepreneurs through various business activities, using more than two billion naira between May 2015 and May 2017.
According to him, “AEA’s direct disbursements alone totaled N2 billion, while it provided training services to 2,742; reached out to 9536 households across the territory; conducted business growth programmes for 7396 businesses and provided business advisory services to 882.
Other programmes and activities carried out by the FCT Administration’s enterprise agency include job creation, wealth creation, provision of enterprise promotion services to 1915; access to finance for 5461 persons; rendered rural enterprise development services to 1539; created 1616 jobs; and created 348 enterprises, totaling 31,435 individuals and businesses.
Through its rural community development programme, Tukur noted that the agency’s One Village One Product, OVOP, programme in Rimba and Nuku has resulted into the production of shea butter, which the FCTA was working with the EU towards upscaling from B+ to A+ grading to qualify for export, even as he revealed that a company in the UK was anxiously waiting for completion of the upscaling to commence transaction of the product.
Tukur also revealed that another OVOP programme in Chikuku, Kwali Area Council which focuses on cassava value chain processing has been provided with a 24-ton garri processing centre and provided over 100 farmers with entrepreneurial training and counseling to boost their economic standing.
Similarly, he disclosed that following an FCTA’s approval for the establishment of 10 cottage centres in the rural communities every quarter, the agency has already established four of the centres at Rima and Nuku communities –both in Abaji Area Council for shea butter production; Chikuku community in Kwali for cassava value chain production, and Guito community in Bwari Council for fish production.
These projects, according to him, “have gainfully engaged 250 individuals”, and created not less than 100,000 jobs each, totaling 4000 jobs, adding that its Micro Finance Bank with N100 million capital holding has over 20,000 clients and about 10,000 have access to finance for their businesses.
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