The Edo State Skills Development Agency (EdoJobs) says N480m, which include bank charges, in the micro-credit segment scheme has been disbursed to a total of 1,631 entrepreneurs involved in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) since the disbursement of funds commenced in February, 2022.
Violet Obiokoro, managing director of the agency, said of the figure, 105 are People Living With Disability (PLWD). He added that the N2 billion Edo State MSME fund was being managed by the EdoJobs in partnership with the Bank of Industry (BoI) and Trustfund Microfinance Bank.
Obiokoro, who spoke with journalists in Benin City, said the project was aimed at providing financial and other business support services to qualified entrepreneurs involved in MSME businesses located in the 18 local government areas of Edo State.
She said loans disbursed by the state government and BOI have promoted the expansion of businesses operated by persons living with disability in the state.
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“It may be important to note that some of these PLWD beneficiaries are in various business sectors such as shoe making, petty trading, and distribution of made-in-Nigeria goods, among others. They include micro businesses in the markets such as Oba Market, New Benin Market, Ekiosa Market, Sabo Market and others.
“The vision of the project is to ensure that more than 5,000 MSMEs in Edo State have access to funds (loans, grants, etc.) for business growth and expansion while putting considerations on gender, LGAs, and persons with special needs.
“In view of these criteria, 60 percent of the beneficiaries are female while 40 percent are male. However, 10 percent of the total money from the funds have been reserved for business owners in Edo State who are living with disability and since disbursement of funds began in February 2022, six percent out of the 10 percent allotted to people living with disability has been successfully disbursed to the beneficiaries to the tune of N28.8m spread across the three senatorial districts in the states”, he added.