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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, on Tuesday, presented a grant of N200 million to 840 beneficiaries under the government’s Women and Youth Empowerment Programme for small and medium scale entrepreneurs (SMEs).

The grant was presented to four beneficiaries each from the 105 political wards across the eight local government areas of the state for January and February 2023.

It is part of the administration’s initiative to spur micro businesses and economic growth in the state with each beneficiary getting N200,000.

Addressing the beneficiaries at the DSP Alamieyeseigha Memorial Banquet Hall in Yenagoa, Senator Diri said the SMEs’ programme is one of series of empowerment schemes designed for Bayelsans desirous of doing business.

The governor said the programme, which has been running for 11 months, has empowered 2,310 women and youths so far, noting that his administration was encouraged by its impact on the beneficiaries.

The governor also directed that an additional one million naira be given to a beneficiary, Nyanayo Inara, who was shot on the leg during the Peoples Democratic Party 2019 governorship campaign in Nembe.

His words: “We are encouraged that this programme has impacted lives. This initiative of the Prosperity Administration is designed for small and medium scale enterprises. Human capacity development is key to our government.

“This scheme is a monthly empowerment to provide seed money for those who want to do business or grow their businesses. We are not just talking the programme but we are working the programme.”

According to Senator Diri, while his administration is putting in place critical infrastructure, it is pertinent to also build the manpower base of the state towards stimulating the local economy.

He stressed that the initiative was also targeted at changing the mindset of Bayelsans towards doing business and becoming self-reliant.

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