Peter Dada, Akure

The Ondo State Government, through the Ondo State Micro- Credit Agency, on Thursday disbursed a sum of N166 m as soft loans to members of over 21 groups of traders, artisans and business owners.

Some of the  groups that benefitted  included : Association of Poultry Farmers, Nigeria Union of Tailors , Fish Farmers Association, Ondo State Hairdresser and Cosmetologists Association among others.

At the disbursement of the cheques to the groups, the state governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, said the scheme, which was tagged ‘Apalara Micro-Credit Scheme’, was put in place to make fund easily accessible to the people to boost their business and economic activities.

Represented by his wife, Mrs  Betty  Akeredolu, the governor said his administration made the loan accessible to the traders in order to save them from passing through the stringent conditions in  commercial banks.

According to the governor, the current administration in the  state was determined to tackle poverty, banish hunger and create wealth.

He said, “There is no gainsaying the fact that the challenges facing governments of most developing countries, Nigeria inclusive , is that of poverty reduction.

“Our government is fully conscious of this fact and has, therefore, not relented in putting in place various poverty reduction programmes including micro credit loans for the benefit of our people, all aimed at improving their socio- economic well-being to achieve sustainable livelihood.

“I will therefore urged the beneficiaries of this loan to be faithful to its terms and conditions to ensure sustainability of the scheme.”

In her welcome address, the Chairman of the State Micro- Credit Agency, Mrs Kosemani Kolawole, said apart from the traders and artisans, some unemployed youths had also benefitted from the scheme

She commended some beneficiaries who had not default in the repayment of the previous loan after making judicious use of it. She also urged the new beneficiaries to emulate this.

Kolawole said, “ We have identified some unemployed  youths who have been considered, we want more youths to come out and benefit from this scheme, some that have benefitted have started something with the loans and they are doing well in their businesses.”

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