• Monday, July 22, 2024
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Ogun boosts SMEs with N1bn grant distribution to 3,350 operators

Ogun, Delta to meet with labour as Oborevwori sets up review committee

As part of efforts to stimulate state’s economy and boost the activities as well as operations of the Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSMEs), Dapo Abiodun-led Administration in Ogun state will soon begin disbursement of N1 billion grant to 3,350 MSMEs operators.

The MSMEs grant, which is part of World Bank– supported economic stimulus provided as part of the COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Program, tagged, “OGUN CARES now renamed as “DAPO ABIODUN CARES”, is meant to offer MSMEs operators between N100,000 and N350,000 grant, each.

Consequently, the Ogun State Government has organised Stakeholders’ meetings, firstly, with organised private sectors – Local Chambers of Commerce and Association of Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises, and secondly, with the local government officials and members of public drawn from Community Development Committees and Associations in the 20 local council areas of the state.

Speaking at the stakeholders’ meeting held in Abeokuta at the weekend, Dapo Okubadejo, Commissioner for Finance and Chief Economic Adviser, declared that the grant was meant to boost the economy and offer financial support to those that suffered one economic loss or the other as a result of negative impacts created by COVID-19 Pandemic.

Okubadejo, who doubles as Chairman Steering Committee for DAPO ABIODUN CARES, a socio-economic intervention programme with eight different empowerment programmes, noted that the State Government would disburse the operational grant to MSMEs operators in retail, fashion, hair and beauty services, hospitality and light manufacturing.

He said, “In order to achieve significance of the programme, it’s good for us to discentralise the programme in order to reach our people in all the 20 local government areas, hence, we are involving youths, women leaders and people at the Community Development Committees and Associations, but in partnership with our Local Government Chairmen.

Read also: Ogun partners FG on free business certificates for MSMEs

“It was initially called OGUN CARES – Ogun State COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus, but it’s now renamed DAPO ABIODUN CARES. This is so to extend the support and financial assistance to our people to cushion negative effects of COVID-19 in terms of economic loss and we are disbursing N1 billion grant in the first phase.

“It’s not a loan, it’s a grant and all beneficiaries will be chosen based on merit, we will ensure that no local government gets more slots than the other. If we are truly using the grant to boost and facilitate economic recovery and strengthen the capabilities of micro, small and medium-scale enterprises, we must be fair, just and equitable with it.

“We are therefore engaging our people at the Community Development Committees and the Community Development Associations, in order to ensure that 3,000 people across 20 local government areas get N100,000 grant each and 350 get N350,000 grant each in the first phase.

“This N1 billion operational grant is one of about eight socio-economic interventions that we are doing. We have Oko’wo Dapo Scheme (traders’ money for market women), Public Works Service for jobless youths, grants for the poor and vulnerable in the communitues, we offer support subsistence farmers with inputs and extension services, we also have grants for youths in the ICT, among others.”

Earlier, Sola Arobieke, Senior Special Assistant on Industry, Trade and Investment, reeled out the requirements for the N1billion operational grant applications and qualification, including business name certificates, business permits from local government, bank accounts, payroll schedules of employees, tax clearance certificate, means of identification, among others.

Arobieke, who doubles as DA CARES Project Manager, emphasized that all the applications submitted on www.ngcaresbusiness.org would be strictly considered in order to ensure a level-playing ground for all applicants, adding that all the applications would be subject to review and revalidation, afterwards.