The Governor of Plateau State, Mr. Simon Lalong has said that his administration is committed to the economic development of the State through youth empowerment and job creation.
Government according to him established the Plateau State Microfinance Development Agency, PLASMIDA to drive the process of youth empowerment, giving them “skills and knowledge that will enable them create jobs and be self-reliant.”
“As at today, the agency has trained about 40,000 youths in different areas and supported over 15,000 Micro, Small and Medium business start-ups.
“Today, Plateau State is the face of MSMEs in Nigeria as we have consistently won awards since 2018.
“We have also taken advantage of our strategic partnership with the ITF, GIZ and other development partners to create opportunities for our youths in agriculture, entrepreneurship and skills development. This is in addition to providing incentives for young people to go into farming which our state is known for,” said the Governor at a town hall meeting he held with youths on Monday, 30th October, 2020 in the wake of the recent EndSARS protests.
According to Lalong, Government has ensured that youths benefit from all social investment programmes of the Federal Government.
Since the N-Power started, 11,364 youths have benefited from Plateau State, he said, adding that 2,000 beneficiaries are under the skill acquisition component of N-Power.
Under the conditional cash transfer, out of the over 26,000 households receiving the bimonthly stipend of 10 thousand naira, Lalong said 24,070 have youths as caregivers and alternate who receive the stipend on behalf of the households.
“In 90% of the households, there are youths who are beneficiaries,” said the Governor.
He however regretted that the recent looting and destructions which cost the State over N75bn have taken the State “many years” backwards.
In his words, “When we destroy the few infrastructures we have, we can never build the better Plateau that we all yearn for.”