The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has disbursed N3 million to 300 women in Oyo State as loans to boost their businesses.
Newsmen report that the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, facilitated the disbursement of the loans to the beneficiaries.
The disbursement to those from Oyo Central and Oyo South Senatorial districts was done at the Liberty Stadium, Ibadan, on July 16 while those from Oyo North Senatorial district received theirs in Ogbomosho, on Tuesday, July 21.
The Oyo State Coordinator of NDE, Mrs Olayinka Olayemi, disbursed the funds to the beneficiaries in Ogbomosho on Tuesday, in line with the COVID-19 guidelines.
She said that the programme was under NDE’s Micro Enterprises Enhancement Scheme (MEES).
Olayemi said thatcp the empowerment was part of the Federal Government’s laudable programme across the country “being implemented by the NDE under the leadership of Dr Nasiru Ladan Argungu.”
She explained that the empowerment programme was designed to help the women start and expand their own businesses, “thereby contributing to economic development and poverty reduction.
“It is imperative to stress that this disbursement is necessary to spur micro-economic growth and stability.
” This is so when our micro businesses are becoming more fragile due to the financial burden ensuing from the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the economy; which our women are mostly at the receiving end, she said.
The NDE coordinator also said that the disclosed that the 300 women who benefitted from the funds were drawn from across the 33 local government areas in the state.
The state coordinator said that each of the beneficiaries would get N10,000 as financial support to start a micro business of her choice or expand the existing one.
The NDE boss recalled that over 1,000 women in the state had earlier benefited from the scheme since it started in December 2019.
She said that testimonies from previous beneficiaries showed that they were doing well in their respective businesses.
Olayemi advised the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the revolving loan and ensure good turnover for appreciable opportunities in the future.
The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, in his message urged the beneficiaries to see the loan as an opportunity to thrive in their respective businesses.
The minister, represented at the occasion by the former Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Mr Olagunju Ojo, urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the money.
He said that the Federal Government, under the leadership of President Mohammadu Buhari, meant well for Nigerians, especially,the less privileged in the society.
Dare said that more empowerment programmes would soon come the way of women and other less privileged in the state, urging the women to exercise patience with the Federal Government.
Mrs Grace Ayelagbe, Head, Small Scale Enterprises Department in NDE, used the occasion to guide the beneficiaries on better ways of doing busineses.
She urged the beneficiaries to ensure an effective utilisation of the funds and engage in productive businesses.
Ayelagbe also said that the directorate has various skill acquisition programmes that could be beneficial to unemployed Nigerians, especially, youths and women.
She said that if they should trained in the skills , they would become self reliant instead of engaging in social vices.
Among the beneficiaries were Mrs Folake Salami from Oyo East Local Government Area, Olayinka Aderibigbe from Oluyole Local Government Area, and Oyindamola Osiufuwa from Oyo West Local Government Area.
The beneficiaries lauded the gesture and promised to make good use of the funds so that they could repay on time for the benefit of others.
Some chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo state, including the Women Leader, Mrs Mabel Williams; Mr Segun Ajanaku, a former lawmaker; Mr Soji Eniade, a former state Head of Service and Mrs Titilayo Fadahunsi – Special Assistant on Diaspora to Gov. Gboyega Oyetola of Osun witnessed the disbursement of the fund.