The Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, on Monday, launched the Apalara Micro-Credit Loan Scheme and distributed loans worth N550 million to market women, entrepreneurial groups and cooperatives societies in the state.
Speaking at the event which held in Akure the states capital, Governor Akeredolu said the scheme is an initiative by his administration to sensitise, re-orientate and inculcate the spirit of self-reliance and self-sustenance in the people, in a bid to boost economic activities.
He said the measure was part of his administration’s determined efforts to “tackle poverty, banish hunger and create wealth in the state.”
He therefore called on the micro-credit agency to embark on a strategic plan to address the lapses identified in past practices in loan administration.
“The scheme is to inculcate in our people, the spirit to properly utilize credit facilities obtained from the state micro-credit agency, particularly on the need for them to appreciate the fact that funds disbursed should not be taken as their own share of the national cake,” he said.
“As a fallout of our determination to lift the entire people of Ondo State out of the current poverty in the land, a total sum of N550 million has been approved by our administration to be disbursed to various groups and individuals at a single digit interest rate.”
Market women will receive N357.5 million (65 per cent) of the loan, while male traders will get N192.5 million (35 per cent).
Akeredolu adviced the beneficiaries of the loan scheme to genuinely utilise the money, the governor added that the route to poverty eradication is mainly through hard work, efficient management of available financial resources and positive attitude to life.
Speaking on behalf the beneficiaries, the leader of the market women association in the state, Akinfenwa Iwalola, said Mr Akeredolu has continued to put smiles on the faces of women in the state with the various people-friendly programmes of his administration.
She expressed optimism that the loans would, in no small measure, boost the state’s economy