Ondo State governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, on Tuesday, disclosed that about N1.5billion loan has been disbursed to artisans, market women and men by the state government in the last seven years of his administration.
Mimiko, who stated this during the third batch of N2billion Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) loan, under the CBN/ODSG Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF), said the loan was in fulfilment of one of the promises “we made from the inception of our administration to banish poverty and create wealth in all ramifications.”
The governor explained that “the scheme is driven to help people who do not have collateral to obtain loans from commercial banks” but however, appealed to the more than 5,000 beneficiaries to make judicious use of the loan for the development of their businesses.
Mimiko urged them to work towards repayment of the loan to enable others to make use of the fund, saying the present administration in the state would not desist from giving priority to the welfare of the people of the state.
Speaking during the distribution of cheques to beneficiaries, the chairman of the Ondo State Micro Credit Agency (OSMA), Mrs Banke Sutton, said the scheme had been an effective strategy for human development, explaining that the two batches disbursed earlier were successful.
She said: “The assumption is that the poor people know what to do to improve their socio-economic conditions but what is lacking in them is availability of fund, a critical factor of production.
“In January 2015, the state government inaugurated the Micro-Enterprises Scheme and a total of N481.102million was disbursed to market women, artisans and cooperative societies.”
She disclosed that “MSMEDF is to complement the various loan scheme put in place by the governor to ensure the N485.2million earmarked for Special Market Women Improvement Loan and Empowerment Scheme (SMILES) benefitted 15,520 market women.”
Others were: Special Transformative Artisans Repositioning Scheme (STARS) of N525million, N77million Yam-Farmers Empowerment Scheme (YES) for 1,584 beneficiaries, interest free N22.5million Windows Resettlement and Empowerment Loan Scheme (WIRES) for widows whose husbands died in service.
Sutton noted that N85million was meant for Special Intervention Programme Scheme (SIPS), while Agbebiye Repositioning Loan and Empowerment Scheme (ARLES), Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs), Mission Home Birth Attendants (MHBAs) and Ondo State Primary Health Care Development Board (OSPHCDB) got N45million.
She stated that the N2billion CBN fund, which was divided into two tranches: N1billion for Micro-Enterprises (MEs) and N1billion for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), was to alleviate poverty in the state.
“Today, a total sum of N219.5million representing the third batch of loan disbursement shall be disbursed to various sectors. Loan processing and disbursement under this scheme is still ongoing,” she said.