Ondo disburses N166m loans to MSMEs
By Fatima Muraina & Mary Agidi
Ondo State government yesterday disbursed the sum of N166million loans to beneficiaries of Micro and Small Medium Enterprises under the Apalara Micro-Credit scheme.
Presenting the cheques to the beneficiaries at St. Lukes Anglican Church Event Centre in Akure, the State governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu reiterated the commitment of his administration to put smiles on the faces of the citizens.
The governor, represented by his wife, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu noted that the Apalara scheme which was launched in November 2018 with N550million is aimed at assisting the unemployed but productive poor in the state to become self-reliant.
Akeredolu explained further that the loan scheme was designed to make funds easily accessible to Small, Micro, and Medium Enterprises without stringent conditions.
“Our administration is convinced that the provision of micro-credit is key to the transformation of the informal sector of the economy of the state and a veritable mechanism for achieving sustainable development.
“The ultimate goal is the reduction of poverty from the economic landscape of the state”, said the governor.
The governor who stated that the current administration in the state had earlier this year disbursed the sum of N57million to market women and entrepreneurs, however noted that the newly disbursed amount is to further demonstrate the commitment of the government towards wealth creation and economic empowerment of the citizens.
He therefore enjoined the beneficiaries to invest the money in productive ventures and reciprocate government’s gesture by supporting the socio-economic projects put in place by the current administration.
Earlier, the Chairman of Micro Credit Agency, Mrs Kosemani Kolawole had appreciated the Governor for approving the agency’s continued contacts with potential investors globally.
She assured that the fruitful results will soon emerge to enhance the chances of meeting the needs of thousands of genuine entrepreneurs who want to enlarge their businesses.
Kosemani identified five outstanding beneficiaries whom she said have not defaulted in loan repayment and had judiciously utilised the loans collected.
“One of the groups has taken loans seven times and has not disappointed the agency,” she said .
The outstanding beneficiaries reeled out included: Owolowo Foodstuffs Association (Egbe Elelubo Pelebe), Akure, Ondo State Hairdressers and Cosmetologists Association, Egbe Oni-Readymade, Oba-Ile, Akure North and Egbe Olobi Ijare, Ifedore local government area.
She disclosed that the Agency has made efforts to ensure that it compete favourably with its peers in credit management in the country, and has built and earned the confidence of stakeholders.
An outstanding beneficiary, Otun Iya Oloja , Owo, Chief Mrs Funmilayo Iwaloye who spoke with The Hope, appreciated the Governor for recognising her association.
Iwaloye who is the Chairman of Hairdressers, Owo, said her association has been benefiting loan since the regime of Governor Adefarati and has been paying back accordingly.
She urged other beneficiaries to emulate them and not to disappoint the government but create opportunity for others to benefit.