• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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Addax Petroleum gives N27.6 million Micro-Credits to 443 women Cooperative groups in OML124

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Addax Petroleum Development Limited has launched a pilot micro-credit scheme to 443 women cooperative groups drawn from seven communities hosting its OML 124 operations.

The micro-credits would provide access to seed funds for the rural women as encouragement for them to engage in, develop and grow micro and small businesses which would enhance their self-reliance and independence.

This was the first phase of a total 845 women clustered in 32 cooperative societies, who would receive a total of N37 million; as the next disbursement would take place in three months time.

The benefiting women come from seven communities which include: Amakpu, Eziorsu, Ndioko, Ofekata III, Orsu-Obodo, Ugbele and Umuamaka.

According to the Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Addax Petroleum Nigeria, Cornelis Zegelaar, the revolving seed fund is “to create and support entrepreneurship, improve our hosts communities’ livelihood and uplift the entire communities such that beneficiaries are enabled to take advantage of the diverse economic opportunities within the local communities.”

Zegelaar, who was represented by the Deputy Managing Director, Corporate Services, Tunji Mayaki, said the oil company is also funding the micro-credit scheme because “we believe that access to formal financial institutions to fund a given entrepreneurial activity at the micro and small level, is challenging, as banks may simply not extend loans to rural dwellers with little or no assets for reasons ranging from requirement of collaterals to high interest rates that erode profits generated from business ventures.”

The Addax Petroleum MD said that apart from agricultural activities and the civil service, the people of their host communities, especially women, engage in petty trading which requires seed money to start, and sustain such enterprises. “These categories of the productive population are the beneficiaries of the micro-credit scheme being launched,” he said; adding that the women were properly guided through the employment of the services of an NGO, the Enterprises for Development International (EfDI), to handle all the processes.

He said the women had selected their businesses and received adequate training from the NGO; adding that “we believe that they will be committed to their trades and grow the businesses.”

The MD said Addax Petroleum spends N115 million on scholarship programme; while it also trains 114 community youths on vocational skills annually.

On their part, the managing director of the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC), Henry Okafor and the commissioner representing Imo State on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) board, Kierian Uche Egbu commended Addax Petroleum for the gesture, which they variously describes as ‘touching the heart’ of the oil host communities.

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