The Agege Local Government in Lagos State has given 100 artisans and traders N100, 000 each in its periodic empowerment scheme.
Mr Ganiyu Egunjobi, the Executive Chairman of the council, presented the sums totalling N10 million to the beneficiaries drawn across the seven wards in the local government area.
The ceremony was held on Sunday as part of activities to mark Egunjobi’s two years in the saddle.
Egunjobi expressed his administration’s commitment to the growth of small-scale enterprises in the local government area as a pivot to residents’ wellbeing.
He expressed his reservation about the commitment of commercial and microfinance banks to providing loans to petty business owners, urging the beneficiaries not to divert the cash gifts, but deploy use them judiciously.
“It is a sad commentary that in our clime, financial inclusion that caters to the need of petty traders and artisans remains a mirage.
“Getting bank loans, either from commercial banks or microfinance banks, is out of the reach of the ordinary people in petty business.
“Equally, the cost of doing business is killing. It’s on the back of these challenges that since the inception of this administration we have been supporting indigent business owners financially.
“Regularly, we gift them hundred thousand naira each with no strings attached. Over 400 persons have benefited from the scheme which we have been doing in a particular order,” the council chairman said.
Among the recipients are Princess Oluwatoyin Adebari, Mrs Afolabi Rukayat, Mr Lateef Ibrahim, Mr Olawale Akinsode, Mrs Mariam Tajudeen and Mr Aigoro Toyeeb.
Others are Mrs Fadipe Fausat, Mrs Monisola Omodele and Mr Saheed Afolabi.
Speaking on behalf of the recipients, Mr Lateef Ibrahim, promoter of a football viewing center in Agege, lauded the scheme, saying it had impacted positively on economic activities and cemented relations among families in the area.
“This scheme has helped to sustain activities of small business operators in Agege.
“Given the harsh economic realities confronting the indigents across the country precipitating feuds in several families, this programme in a way is sustaining ties of kinship in Agege.
“On behalf of other beneficiaries both present past, I say a big thank you to you our chairman,” he said.