By: Darlington Omotoso

The FCT Administration has once again demonstrated its resolve to lift indigent residents as well as owners of small businesses in the Territory out of poverty by organizing a pre-disbursement training for 1,404 beneficiaries of FCT-CARES.

The FCT COVID-19, Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (known as FCT-CARES), training was organized at the Conference Centre of Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA), for the beneficiaries who were strategically drawn from the six Area Councils of the FCT.

Speaking during the training session, the Ag. Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, AEA, Alhaji Shehu Abdulkadir represented by the Manager, Enterprise Services Department, Mrs. Chidinma Nduka, said that the training will be in batches for the 1,404 benefiting individuals.

Her words: “Our Department, saddled with the responsibility of stimulating business growth in the FCT, in synergy with FCT –CARES, will be providing a One-Day training to all the beneficiaries in batches, with the aim of promoting their financial literacy, proper book-keeping and savings culture, which will enable them separate personal finance from business finance, in addition to exposing them to the essentials of entrepreneurship.”

Whilst appreciating the Federal Government and the FCT Administration for the noble initiative, she explained that the funds that will be disbursed to beneficiaries at the end of the training is actually a World Bank Grant, which is targeted at Micro and Small enterprises that were negatively affected by the pandemic.

Also speaking, during the training, Head of Operations, FCT-CARES, Livelihood Unit, Mr. Inuwa Biruwa Mayo, said livelihood grants, will take care of 1,404 beneficiaries that are economically active, whose businesses were adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He stated that stimulus is aimed at resuscitating their businesses and aspirations for sustainable livelihood.

“We are starting with a total of 239 out of the 1,404 beneficiaries, as the first batch to be trained, to enable them to acquire skills and knowledge on how to properly manage the stipends that will be given them after the training. It is expected to also inculcate in them a savings culture,” he reiterated.

He expressed optimism that Micro and Small scale businesses in the FCT that were paralyzed by the COVID-19 will soon be revived as a result of this intervention but stressed that beneficiaries will be monitored to ensure they make judicious use of the grant that will be given them.