Nasarawa State Government has disbursed more than N5 million grant to rural communities towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of reducing extreme poverty and hunger.
Dr Salisu Rajj, Senior Special Assistant to Gov. Umaru Al-Makura on MDGs, presented the cheques to agro-based cooperative societies in Lafia on Thursday.
Rajj said reduction of extreme poverty and hunger was a cardinal policy thrust of the administration.
The aide said the first phase of the grant covers Awe, Nasarawa-Eggon, Kokona and Nasarawa Local Government Areas.
According to him, three cooperative societies were selected from each of the four local government areas and given N450,000 as grant to boost their agro businesses.
He said the gesture would go a long way in turning around the economic fortune of the people, provide employment at the local level and recapitalise small scale businesses.
Rajj said the grant would be monitored by the MDGs office to ensure proper utilisation.
He urged the chairmen of the various cooperative groups to ensure that every member benefited maximally, adding that the grant was expected to have a multiplier effect on the community over a period of time.
In a remark, Mr Emmanuel Brass-Yaji, Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives lauded the initiative, saying it would help to ameliorate the plight of the extremely poor people in rural areas.
Brass-Yaji, who was represented by the Director, Cooperative in the ministry, Mr Danlami Yakubu, however, cautioned the beneficiaries against misusing the grant for ?personal pleasures?.
He charged the beneficiaries to see the grant given to them as seed money that should be allowed to grow so as to impact on the lives of other people within the community.