Going by the aftermath effects of COVID-19 which paralysed economic activities globally, with series of lockdown and restrictions, the Ogun State Government has finally rolled out N1 billion grants meant to stimulate economy through grants disbursement to thousands of Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSMEs) operating in the State.
The N1 billion grants disbursement which is part of the economic stimulus introduced 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 across all the 20 Local Goverment Areas of the State.
Speaking in Abeokuta during the Enumeration and Vetting Exercise for the beneficiaries, Dapo Okubadejo, Governor Dapo Abiodun’s Chief Economic Adviser declares that the purpose is to cushion the negative effects of COVID-19 on the Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSMEs) and their operators as the N1 billion grants will go a long way in boosting their businesses.
Okubadejo, who also doubles as the Chairman Steering Committee for the Ogun State COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Programme (OG-CARES), says that the initiative is 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 of OG-CARES, notes that over 16,000 applications have been received from business owners in different trades, across the three Senatorial Districts of the State, adding that 1,500 have been captured under the first batch as the beneficiaries will receive the alerts within 24 hours.
“The exercise has been on for some time. The main idea of the N1 billion grants is to serve as relief from COVID-19 Pandemics for Micro, Small and Medium-Medium-scale Enterprises in all three Senatorial Districts of Ogun. The beneficiaries may not necessarily be indigenes, but as far as they have a business establishment in the State”.
Speaking on the grants, Oluwayemisi Abass, Iyaloja-General of Yewaland and the President-General, Market Men and Women Associations of Ogun State, commends Dapo Abiodun-led Administration in the State, saying generosity of such magnitude has never happened in the history of the State since its creation.
Similarly, leaders of trade Associations such as the Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI), Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria (ASBON), Ogun State Chambers of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (OGUNCCIMA) and Community Development Councils (CDCs), across the State applauded the Governor Dapo Abiodun for the giant stride he’s been making towards economic growth and development.
BusinessDay reports that the Artisans across the 20 Local Goverments Areas of the State and Joint National Association of Persons Living With Disability (JONAPWD), commend the State Government for a timely intervention on their businesses.
Some beneficiaries, Israel Ariyo, a boutique owner from Ijebu-Ode Local Government and Olamide Olatunde, owner of Beauty and Cosmetics Shop in Ado-Odo, Ota Local Government, note that the grant will help to lessen the burden of obtaining loans from commercial banks and make their business to move on faster.
Also, a photographer, Olawunmi Okunlola, from Abeokuta South Local Government and Tairat Adebanjo, a trader from Odogbolu Local Government, say that the grant will be used to acquire new gadgets and expand businesses, just as they appreciate Governor Dapo Abiodun for promoting shared value and individual prosperity.