News Column

Osun Floats N4 Billion Microcredit Agency

July 14, 2014

Yinka Kolawole

Osun State Government has announced the floating of microcredit agency with N4 billion interest free loan for cooperative groups and societies.

It also distributed 40 mini buses to members of the cooperatives transporters and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) as part of its empowerment scheme to alleviate poverty and banish hunger. Performing the unveiling of the agency and distribution of the mini buses yesterday in Osogbo, Governor Rauf Aregbesola said the target of the state government is to be like Lagos State in no distant time.

He explained that the intention of the state government was to boost the economy of the state into the production of vehicles soon. While noting that the PDP has never embarked on progressive and developmental oriented programmes, Aregbesola maintained that his government would not relent in making sure that lives were bearable to the masses. "When we sought for your votes in 2006/2007, we promised to banish poverty and hunger. We promised to provide among other things developmental programmes and we have been achieving this" he added.

On the microcredit loan agency, Governor Aregbesola disclosed that a sum of N4 billion has been earmarked for disbursement to members and individuals with feasible businesses in the state. While charging members of the cooperative societies to work together towards the sustainability of the agency and loan, he explained that the state was working towards production of vehicles. He also said his administration has no intention to ban the use of commercial motorcycles, saying "in as much you don't use the motorcycles to aid violence and vice in the state."

He advised the people of the state against be intimidated by the presence of heavy security operatives during the August 9th 2014 gubernatorial election. In his welcome address, the State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Empowerment, Mr. Ismaila Adekunle Alagbada, said various programmes and projects had been rolled out by the current administration.

He said, notable among programmes are the support to farmers through the Quick Impact Intervention Programme for farmers under which 12,000 cooperative farmers were supported to the tune of N753,266,000.00 and the empowerment of over 2000 textile dealers and 332 cocoyam off-takers.

The government has further facilitated the procurement and distribution of 70 new Toyota Hiace buses worth N384,650,000.00 to members of the NURTW and RTEAN in the state. The micro-credit agency, he said, is part of an elaborate and integrated approach of the state government to empowerment of the people for their total emancipation.

"The agency will certainly assist those who have acquired training and skill but needed money to transact their businesses. This is where the micro credit agency will come in to assist them to actualise their business dreams", he added. Also speaking, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Raji Fashola, denied the allegation that the state government ban commercial motorcycles but only asked them not to ply highways for their safety.

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Source: AllAfrica

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