The commissioner, who said over 5,000 persons had applied within the first six days that the exercise started, noted that the ministry decided to group the exercise into zones to avoid stampede. According to him, six persons would be selected from each ward, bearing in mind the issue of gender equality, stressing that applicants would be screened and those qualified selected without favouritism. He explained that those selected would be given N250,000 to start their preferred business, but would sign Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, with the state government. He added that government would supervise the beneficiaries to ensure judicious utilization of the fund and those who performed well after one year would be given additional money to add in their business, stating that “the governor’s intention is to raise millionaires”.
Youths seeking jobs in their thousands have besieged the office of the Commissioner for Economic Empowerment and Job Creation seeking for jobs in line with the state government’s campaign promise of providing jobs for the teeming youths of the State.
The six thousand (6,000) youths from 13 local government areas of the state, have so far collected forms issued freely by the state government for an empowerment scheme as the cabinet office, location of the exercise, is usually crowded on daily basis.
The Commissioner for Economic Empowerment and job creation, Sabinus Nwankwegu, in a chat with news men said government had earmarked on N600 million to be given to 2,400 youths to start businesses. He debunked rumours that the names of people to be empowered had already been compiled. Nwankwegu urged the public to disregard the rumour as it was baseless and untrue, stating that the state governor, David Umahi had strictly ordered him to give all applicants equal playing field.