From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
No fewer than 5,500 traders selected across the five local government areas in Ogun West senatorial district have been empowered by the senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, with grants to boost their businesses.
Speaking at the empowerment programme held at the Asade Agunloye Pavilion, Ilaro, Adeola, explained that the market women, who were drawn from various markets in Yewaland, were given cash grants of N25,000 through bank transfer, to insulate them against the economic crunch being faced by the country.
Adeola, who is also the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, added that the market women had witnessed low levels of trading activities of goods and services, hence, the empowerment programme.
He pointed out that the programme tagged “Oloja Yayi” was fashioned after the economic empowerment of Governor Dapo Abiodun, “Oko’wo Dapo” and the “Trader Moni” of President Muhammadu Buhari, which had provided succour to market women across the state.
According to him, the initiative was meant to complement the empowerment efforts at both the state and federal levels.
While lauding the state governor for the initiative, Adeola, disclosed that he facilitated the empowerment in conjunction with Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR), with Start-Up Grants for agro-manpower, artisanal manpower and cage culture carp species restocking for market women and men.
“This is a microfinancing scheme to boost the businesses of our market men and women. It is not a loan but a grant to bring succour to a critical sector of our people.
“My vision here is to further impact directly on critical sectors of the society in ways to cushion the effects of the downturn of the economy on vulnerable persons. Last year alone, I trained and empowered 3,500 Ogun West citizens in various skills with all of them going away with various equipment for their learnt skills as well as start-up grants. Equally last year, I trained and empowered 200 youths from the senatorial district in the area of ICT, while a few weeks back, another batch of 250 graduates were trained to be internationally certified in different Microsoft software packages and are awaiting empowerment in a week or two from now”, the senator stated.
While disclosing that about 250 physically challenged persons in the senatorial district are being trained with the aim of empowering them with a cash grant of N100,00 each, Adeola said that the beneficiaries of “Oloja Yayi” were selected on merit in a transparent manner supervised by various market leaders.
He, however, appealed to the beneficiaries of the empowerment programme to judiciously apply the grant to increase their various trades and not divert it to other uses unrelated to their marketing activities.
The senator further called on the people of Ogun West to vote massively for him during the presidential and national assembly elections as well as all the APC candidates, promising that many more dividends of democracy would be witnessed in Ogun West if elected as the senator.
In her address, Mrs Yemisi Abass, the Iyaloja General of Ogun State, commended the senator for the kind gesture.
Abass said the financial support would give a boost to the beneficiaries and also prevent them from obtaining outrageous loans with high-interest rates.