The Ebonyi State government has spent N135 million on youths empowerment as part of its poverty alleviation programme.The Commissioner for Economic Empowerment and Poverty Alleviation, Mr Soni Ogbuoji, told newsmen yesterday in Abakaliki that government had earlier released N210 million as soft loans to the beneficiaries to spur economic activities.
He said government, in collaboration with an indigenous business group, Catfish Consult Nigeria Ltd, has embarked on the training of 3,000 youths from the 13 local government areas of the state in fish farming to create employment and reduce poverty.
Ogbuoji said government had built 35 fish ponds across the state.
"The programme is in partnership with Catfish Consult Nigeria Ltd, who constructed and will stock the ponds as well as ensure their management up to harvest stage," he added.
Ogbuoji said the youth empowerment programme would curb youth restiveness and reduce crime rate. Mr Maurice Eboh, the Chief Executive Officer, Catfish Consult Nigeria Ltd, said the skill acquisition programme was still at a pilot stage.