The Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed has flagged off a N41million empowerment for women in the state.
Governor Ahmed, who made a symbolic presentation of N20million cheques to beneficiaries at the Banquet Hall, Ilorin, said his administration had prioritized the informal sector as a major driver of economic activities and as the area in which majority of the people are making a living.
He said the remaining balance of N21million will be released to qualifying women in the coming month noting that empowerment is part of his administration’s efforts to enhance the livelihoods of women.
According to him, “it is designed to assist women who are the powerful majority of the electorate and are in dire need of financial assistance to do their businesses”.
The Governor said the approach of his administration is to strengthen the informal sector, which is: the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) under which micro-credit funds are disbursed via micro finance banks to qualifying cooperative groups.
He said the first set of beneficiaries are drawn from the three senatorial districts of the state saying the decision to prioritize women was born out of the role they played in shaping the society politically, socially and economically.
“In view of this, this government has put in place various programmes to educate, and empower women and young girls with the tools, resources and skills necessary to build productive lives for the benefit of the society”, he stated.
The Governor who expressed optimism for the repayment noted that the scheme has recorded a 75 percent repayment rate stating that women have greater incentive to utilize the funds prudently and repay on schedule.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Dr (Mrs) Ayinke Saka, disclosed that the state government under the first phase of the programme empowered 350 women across the 16 LGAs.