By James Sowole in Akure
The Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) Monday boosted the economic activities of the state with the distribution of N550 million loan to market women, various entrepreneurial groups and cooperative societies in the state.
The governor distributed the money during the launch of the Apalara Micro-Credit Loan Scheme in Akure, the state capital.
Akeredolu said the measure was part of his administration’s determined efforts to tackle poverty, banish hunger and create wealth in the state.
According to Akeredolu, the scheme was conceived to sensitise, re-orientate and inculcate the spirit of self-reliance and self-sustenance in the people.
Akeredolu challenged the agency to embark on a strategic plan to address lapses identified in past practices in loan administration which led to the non-repayment of backlog of loans issued by past administration.
He said the task given to the agency gave birth to the new brand called “Apalara Micro-Credit Loan Scheme”.
“The scheme is to inculcate in our people the spirit to properly utilise credit facilities obtained from the state micro-credit agency, particularly on the need for them to appreciate the fact that funds disbursed should not be taken as their own share of the national cake,” he said.
Of the N550 million, market women are to get N357.5m (65%), while men will get N192.5 million (35%).
He said the state government had evolved a well-articulated credit management system for loan beneficiaries to ensure efficient risk management to guide against defaults in order to sustain Apalara loan scheme.
While urging the beneficiaries of the loan scheme to genuinely apply the money, the governor added that the route to poverty eradication is mainly through hard work, efficient management of available financial resources and positive attitude to life.
The Chief Imam of Akure, Alhaji Yayi Akorede, and beneficiaries of the loan scheme hailed the governor’s initiative.
Also speaking, the leader of the market women association in the state, Chief (Mrs) Iwalola Akinfenwa, said Akeredolu has continued to put smiles on the faces of women in the state with the various people-friendly programmes of his administration.
She expressed optimism that the loan would, in no small measure, boost the state’s economy.