…2000 To Benefit From Pilot Programme
The Governor of the State Government of Osun, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, has announced that it has provided the sum of N100 million as Seed Loans as part of its Post-COVID-19 Intervention Programme.
The seed loans will be made available through the Bank of Industry (BOI), while Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) will conduct Entrepreneurial Development training for beneficiaries of the programme.
Governor Oyetola made this announcement during the flag-off of the State’s Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, today, in Osogbo.
According to Oyetola: “Our collaboration with out partners speaks to our determination to join forces for action against hunger and poverty. I believe that with their support, God willing, the State Government will continue to provide necessary assistance to our people in the State of Osun”.
He added that his administration is committed to repositioning the State’s economy, particularly the MSMEs and the informal sector, and to encourage the operators’ resilience to cope with negative impacts of the pandemic.
He continued: “This strategy is to strengthen industrialization, commerce and investments while also enhancing human capital development as part of its economic repositioning strategy for those that might be negatively affected by the lockdown”.
The strategy, according to Oyetola, shall generate 15,000 jobs both directly and indirectly annually through the intervention programme.
Oyetola appealed to beneficiaries to make judicious use of the opportunities the programme offers for their individual and collective benefits.
In his welcome address, the Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Dr. Bode Olaonipekun, said due to the projection of the budget for year 2020, one of the key projections and major pillars of the budget is skill acquisitions aimed at aiding manpower development and capacity building in the State.
He added that: “This Intervention Programme is not particularly because of COVID-19, it only became coincidental with COVID-19. We had planned this programme since the beginning of the year at the Governor’s prompting. COVID-19 only gave it more prominence and relevance.
“The pandemic caused a number of job losses and business issues, so it became a matter of urgency to address the issues, by seeking to bring relief to our people
“After this training, many of the participants will get immediate start-up packs which includes funds and other materials. Others may need to advance through recommendation for a longer term skills acquisition programme at Technical Colleges. We are working with Technical Education Board in the State of Osun to achieve this.
“After this pilot programme in Osogbo, the trainings will be moved to each senatorial district across the State so that it is brought closer to the people”, Olaonipekun explained.
In his remark, the State Manager for the Bank of Industry, Mr Ojoowuro lauded the government and the people of Osun, stressing that the State had always distinguished itself in terms of partnerships.
He also described the people of Osun as hardworking and people of integrity, adding that the people of the State never default in loan repayment, which gives the Bank the impetus to want to do more for small businesses in the State.
He also appreciated the State Government for not reclining in the face of the pandemic, but instead took proactive measures to empower its people.
The Regional Head of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Mr Ogundeji Gbenga, appreciated the government of the State of Osun for its support for the agency over the years, adding that the objective of the intervention programme is a laudable one.
According to him: “Majority of people default in offsetting loans because they lack entrepreneurial skills. Hence, the need to train them in aspects critical for successful business outing before granting loans, and the government of Osun State has done well in this regard”.
The Commissioner for Human Resources, Alhaja Latifat Giwa, in her remark, appreciated the Oyetola-led administration in the State of Osun for its investments in capacity building across the state, adding that the Ministry of Human Resources would soon also be having a training on capacity building for some citizens, especially people living with disabilities.
She also added that these interventions are critical to changing the narratives of the state from being a civil service state, to an industrial hub.
In his remark, the Speaker House of Assembly, Hon. Timothy Owoeye lauded the executive arm of government under the leadership of Governor Oyetola for fashioning a structure to address the COVID-19 necessitated economic issues in the state.