From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
ActionAid Nigeria (AAN), a Non-Governmental Organisation, at the weekend, said over 41,900 have so far benefitted from its Livelihood Support Programme in Kogi in the last 30 months.
Anicetus Atakpu , Acting Coordinator, Humanitarian and Resilience Unit, ActionAid Nigeria disclosed this in an interview with our Correspondent in Lokoja.
Atakpu said that the 41,900 direct beneficiaries of the programme were drawn from four communities in Adavi and Igalamela-Odolu Local Government Areas of Kogi state.
He said that programme was earlier targeted at 9,200 youths; 10,200 women and 22,500 community members including out of school and indigent children as well as the aged but more beneficiaries were recorded during implementation.
The project, with a lifespan of two and a half years, was conceived to help address unemployment, out of school cases, poverty, livelihood challenge, exclusion and inequality among communities.
He said the intervention has contributed to behavioural change and not only equipped the youths and women with capacity and skills for vulnerability analyses, it has also addressed issues of income-generating livelihoods.
To attain this, Atakpu said AAN in July, completed nine of its livelihood support projects worth N35 million were commissioned by Governor Yahaya Bello who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Chief Edward Onoja.
The projects, according to him, include one rice milling factory; four cassava processing machines for processing into garri, flour and pellets; three maize milling machines and a block molding industry in the four communities.
It also provided a bakery for Osara youths and a borehole for Okpakpata communities to address their socio-economic needs as part of the livelihood support programme, he said.
Atakpu explained that under the ActionAid intervention project, 15 to 30 trainings had been conducted for the community members in various areas in the last few months.
The areas, according to him include, sensitisation on the importance of peace, capacity building on leadership and mentoring for women and youths and integration of Fulani communities.
The Coordinator noted that the current intervention programme would end in December.
He however, added that ActionAid had concluded plans to add four more Local Government Areas and 11 communities to the intervention programme in the next dispensation as from January, 2019.