Over one hundred Nigerian youths have received grants, loans and starter packs worth millions of naira to establish small business as a means of generating income.
The grants, loans and starter packs were given to the youths at an empowerment programme in Cross River State, south-south Nigeria.
Lafarge Africa, an international organization and a partner of Mediatrix Foundation, the pet project of the wife of the governor, Dr. Linda Ayade, gave the youths the support as part of its corporate social responsibility.
In a remark, the wife of the governor. Dr. Ayade, urged the beneficiaries, most of whom were women and girls, to avail themselves of socio-economic opportunities created by the development partners.
Ayade, who thanked Lafarge Mfamosing Plant for supporting her pet project through the 2019 Community Day celebration, said “I urge you beneficiaries to make good use of these support you have gotten today. It is not easy to have partners, who can readily provide such support that covers small business management training, equipping and grants.”
“All our effort, which Lafarge Africa, is supporting is geared towards curtailing restiveness and in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s agricultural drive as well as the governor’s agricultural revolution,” she noted.
She further appreciated the host communities for providing the organization a conducive environment that resulted to a number of infrastructural developments in the villages.
In a speech, Michel Pucheros, the country Chief Executive Officer of the company, said that the support was part of its corporate social responsibility and to boost the economies of members of its host communities.
Pucheros, who was represented by the Plant Manager, Adamu Maaji, said the company’s commitment to community development was in line with its 2030 sustainability ambitions of Lafarge, which includes climate and energy circular economy, environment and community.
He stated, “as an organization, we are in partnership with human capacity development organizations such as Mediatrix Foundation, Girls Power Initiative, GPI and Cuso International. We are happy to provide funding and assistance to our host communities.”
According to Pucheros, the Mbobui community near the border between Nigeria and Cameroon has been given a new primary health centre fully equipped to provide the much services, while new primary school blocks and a range of other projects have been constructed in other areas.
He disclosed that over 100 indigent secondary school students and 30 others in tertiary educations were awarded bursaries.
The events, which had the theme “Partnering with Communities and Promoting Enabling Business Environment,” featured goodwill messages from Eteng Williams, the Speaker of the Cross River State Assembly and Mrs. Christy Ise, the chairperson of the Community Relations Committee.