The Gombe State Government on Friday said it created 3,500 jobs through the distribution of 1,400 vehicles to indigenes of the state.

The vehicles distributed under the state’s ‘Talba Empowerment Scheme (TES)’consist of tricycles, taxi cabs, buses and tractors.

The Commissioner of Finance, Alhaji Muhammadu Hassan, made the disclosure when he briefed newsmen in Gombe. He said the revolving scheme would be operated by the newly established Gombe Leasing Company. According to him, the beneficiaries will be required to pay an initial deposit of 30 per cent of the cost of the various vehicles received.

He said the leasing company was partnering with three banks to source funds for people interested in the scheme.

Muhammadu said beneficiaries would provide their data and commitment that would guarantee the safety of the passengers and the vehicles.

He said the vehicles were provided to empower the people of the state toward the effective use of existing infrastructure for wealth creation.

The commissioner said the vehicles had been comprehensively insured against accidents and other mishaps.

“If anything happens to it, you get a new one, you keep operating. It is not your business that it has broken down and it cannot be repaired. We have an assembly plant for the assembly and repair of tricycles,’’ he said.

On the 200 tractors, he said the idea behind the purchase of the farm implements was to boost agriculture, adding that the modalities of the tractors lease operation were being worked.

The commissioner said the vehicles would operate within Gombe, and that security devices had been installed to tract the drivers.

He assured the people that merit would be the guiding rule for the operation of the scheme.

NAN recalled that Gov. Ibrahim Dankwambo inaugurated the vehicles, comprising 1050 tricycles and 100 Suzuki cars in Gombe on Nov. 27.

“The government reduced 20 per cent of the cost of the vehicles, while the taxi cost N2.6 million, the tricycles would be sold at N553, 021. The governor said the tractors would be sold at N4 million as against the purchase price of N7 million.

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