BY ROTIMI DUROJAIYE
Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, on Wednesday in Maiduguri commissioned Borno’s first alpha mechanic village, to support artisans working on different automobiles, tricycle and generator sets.
His Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Lanre Obadiah, said the mechanic village consists of over 633 auto-mechanics workshop, 80 wheel balancing and alignment technicians workshop, 55 panel-beating workshop, 32 vulcanizers workshop, 120 Keke Napep and generator technicians workshop, 30 spare parts shops, space for training workshops, restaurants and two boreholes to provide affordable water supply.
He added that Zulum also announced plan to construct additional four centres to accommodate more artisans and create more jobs to the teeming youths through skills acquisition and enhance the socio-economic activities in the state.
“The commissioning of this magnificent edifice and disbursement of soft loans to quite a number of people have brought to the fore our resolve to create job opportunities to our teaming youths through skill acquisition, thereby reducing social vices and making them productive members of the society. It will also add more value to the socio-economic activities of the state,” Zulum said.
The governor in a separate intervention has distributed N350m cash empowerment to about 4,250 artisans and traders of different categories and locations within Maiduguri Metropolis and Jere Local Government Area.
About 1,271 automobile technicians have received N68.7m, 1,002 tricycle and generator technicians received N56.05m, 1,405 post office traders received N75.4m and 560 BabbanLayi electronic sellers received N150m.
The governor noted that the interventions were meant to promote new business and revive the existing ones in order to address problems associated with poverty.
“To promote small and medium scale enterprises, we have disbursed loans to several clubs and associations across the state. We intended to do more in this
direction to reduce poverty to its barest minimum.
“The state government has noted with great concern the unemployment situation in the state and that is why the government is making frantic efforts to change the narrative by exploring all available options to create job opportunities to our unemployed youths, this is just one of the many projects earmarked to fill the gap of unemployment ratio in the state,” Zulum said.
More than N2.5b has been disbursed to 32,000 medium and small enterprises under government’s Small Business Financing and Empowerment and the Rural Support Facility in the last two years.
In their separate remarks, the commissioner for Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Mustapha Mallumbe, the Executive Secretary of BOGIS Adam Bababe and managing director, Borno Renaissance Micro Finance Bank, Mohammed Bello, commended the governor for his tremendous support and empowerment drive to SMEs.