By Femi Ogbonnika
In a spirited efforts to alleviate the suffering of petty traders in Ogun State, a non-governmental organization, Paseda Women Foundation, has extended its reach to Ogun East Senatorial district which is made up of nine local governments.
At the launch of its second phase of the scheme tagged, â€œN10 million loan for Ogun Market Women and petty tradersâ€, held at Ijebu Ode at the weekend, President, Paseda Women Forum, Mrs Yemi Layeni, expressed appreciation to the initiators of the scheme, Otunba Rotimi Paseda and his wife, Vivian, for coming up with the idea of giving out loans at a zero-interest rate to the indigent petty traders in the state.
According to Layeni, the scheme which kicked off two years ago, is targeted at 5,000 petty traders across the three senatorial districts in Ogun State.
â€œPaseda Women Foundation (PWF) which is an offshoot of Paseda Legacy Foundation (PLF), was floated two years ago to improve the lots of petty traders in Ogun State. Through this empowerment programme, God has been working miraculously in our lives. We give thanks to the facilitators/initiators of the scheme, Otunba Rotimi Paseda and his wife, Vivian, for deeming it fit and also for taking cognizance of the need to come to the rescue of the petty traders that the receiving end of the poor state of the economy. A lot of empowerment programmes, including health have been part of the foundation and we thank God, we have been impacting positively into the lives of the people of Ogun State, in generalâ€, said the PWF President.
Beneficiaries, in two categories, of the loan scheme thronged the Ijebu Ode venue and expressed their heart-felt appreciation to the initiators of the foundation for counting them worthy. The first set of the beneficiaries received cash gifts Otunba Paseda who personally went round the towns and donated cash to roadside traders, especially roasted plantain and corn traders. They all extolled the generosity of Paseda over the loan scheme. They also prayed for the victory of Paseda in the coming 2019 governorship election in Ogun State on the platform of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN).
A trader, Atinuke Adebayo, who roasts plantain and corn by the roadside in Oyingbo area of Ijebu Ode, thanked God for using Otunba Rotimi Paseda to bail her out.
According to the mother of two, â€œI was sitting down and roasting plantain and corn by the roadside at Oyingbo, Ijebu Ode when I suddenly saw a man I never knew, pulling down in his black jeep. Upon coming down, he offered me a white envelope and asked me to call the mobile number enclosed in it. It was cash that was in it. That was how we all began to dance and praise God for using Paseda to touch our livesâ€.
Other beneficiaries of the cash gifts from Igbile, Omu, Odo-Jobore, all in Odogbolu Local Government Area, were Mrs Folake Oluwo, Fatimoh Ashafa, Mrs Oluwole Osimowa and Fatimoh Esther. They all thanked Paseda for his gesture.