As part of a policy to create alternatives to migration through socio-economic development, ActionAid Nigeria on Thursday empowered 1,000 persons with the sum of N32.5 million as start-up capital to further support their respective businesses.
Speaking at the presentation of equipment to the beneficiaries in Benin City, Ene Obi, country director, ActionAid Nigeria, said the beneficiaries have been arranged into a group of 50 with each entitled to N650,000.
Obi explained that the beneficiaries of the first batch of the programme were thoroughly selected from Benin, Auchi and Uromi.
She said the programme under the Migration II project tagged “Dare To Hope Project” in Edo State was geared towards tackling the root causes of irregular migration by training, equipping and mentoring youths in various skills acquisition.
She further said that the recipients were trained in hairdressing, fish farming, makeup artistry, shoe and bag making, poultry, aluminium fabrication, bead making, among others.
The ActionAid Nigeria country director noted that the purpose of the project was to help young people make informed and voluntary choices, instead of being forced to emigrate.
She disclosed that the programme was being implemented by ActionAid Nigeria in partnership with the Ideal Development and Resource Centre (IDRC), Kairos Youth Empowerment Initiative and the Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development.
In her remarks, Betsy Obaseki, wife of Edo State governor, commended ActionAid for complementing the state government’s efforts in tackling irregular migration.
She urged the beneficiaries to make good use of what they have received as it would help to discourage those planning to leave the country through illegal means.