The Ogun State Government has earmarked N1 billion for about 1,500 business owners across the 20 local governments of the state as operational grants for micro and small-scale enterprises in the state.
The N1 billion grants disbursement which is part of the economic stimulus by Governor Dapo Abiodun in conjunction with the Federal Government and World Bank, started last week with the screening and assessment of over 1,500 operators of Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSMEs) selected from the 20 councils.
Speaking in Abeokuta during the enumeration and vetting of the beneficiaries, Dapo Okubadejo, the governor’s chief economic adviser, said it was to cushion the negative effects of COVID-19 on the MSMEs.
Okubadejo, who doubles as chairman, Steering Committee for the Ogun State COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Programme (OG-CARES), added that the initiative was also aimed at eradicating poverty and offers both money and real flows through intensive economic activities expected to be created by the injection of the fund into the economy.
Okubadejo, represented by Sola Arobieke, the project manager, OG-CARES, said over 16,000 applications had been received from business owners in different trades, across the three senatorial districts of the state from which 1,500 had been captured under the first batch.
Speaking on the grants, Oluwayemisi Abass, Iyaloja-general of Yewaland and the president-general, Market Men and Women Associations of Ogun State, commended the Governor Abiodun-led administration.
Also, leaders of trade associations, including the Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI), Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria (ASBON), Ogun State Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (OGUNCCIMA) and Community Development Councils (CDCs), applauded the government for the effort being made to develop the state.
Some beneficiaries- Israel Ariyo, a boutique owner from Ijebu-Ode Local Government and Olamide Olatunde, owner of a beauty and cosmetics shop in Ado-Odo, Ota Local Government, said the grant would lessen the burden of obtaining loans from commercial banks and make their business grow faster.