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Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN on Monday boosted the economic activities of Ondo State by giving the sum of N550 million loan to market women, various entrepreneurial groups and cooperatives societies in the state.
Akeredolu said the measure was part of his administration’s determined efforts to tackle poverty, banish hunger and create wealth in the state.
The governor spoke during the launch of the Apalara Micro-Credit Loan Scheme and presentation of N550 million loan for the empowerment of various groups and association in Akure, the state capital.
He said the scheme was conceived to sensitise, re-orientate and inculcate the spirit of self-reliance and self-sustenance in the people.
Akeredolu, who was briefed about the existence of different loan regimes at the micro-credit agency and the humongous backlog of unrecovered loans disbursed by previous governments in the state when he assumed office, challenged the agency to embark on a strategic plans to address lapses identified in past practices in loan administration.
According to him, the task given to the agency gave birth to the new brand called “Apalarab Micro-Credit Loan Scheme.”
He said, “The scheme is to inculcate in our people, the spirit to properly utilize credit facilities obtained from the state micro-credit agency, particularly on the need for them to appreciate the fact that funds disbursed should not be taken as their own share of the national cake.
“As a fallout of our determination to lift the entire people of Ondo State out of the current poverty in the land, a total sum of N550 million has been approved by our administration to be disbursed to various groups and individuals at a single digit interest rate.”
Of the total sum, market women are to get N357.5m (65%), while men will get N192.5 million (35%).
He, however, said the state government had evolved a well-articulated credit management system for loan beneficiaries to ensure efficient risk management to guide against defaults in order to sustain Apalara loan scheme.
While urging the beneficiaries of the loan scheme to genuinely apply the money, the governor added that the route to poverty eradication is mainly through hard work, efficient management of available financial resources and positive attitude to life.
He therefore sought the support of all traditional rulers, religious leaders and markers leaders, among others for the sustainability of his administration’s developmental efforts.
The Chief of Imam of Akure, Yayi Akorede and beneficiaries of the loan scheme hailed the governor’s initiative.
According to him, Akeredolu, since assuming office as governor, has acted as a good leader in the distribution of government’s programmes to the people.
Also speaking, the leader of the market women association in the state, Akinfenwa Iwalola, said Akeredolu has continued to put smiles n the faces of women in the state with the various people-friendly programmes of his administration.
She expressed the optimism the loan would, in no small measure, boost the state economy.