Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday held a close-door meeting with the leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) in Benin City ahead of the forthcoming general election.
The meeting, which lasted over three hours, took place at the Bishop Kelly Pastoral Centre, Benin City and attended by the PFN President, Dr. Felix Omobude, Chairman of Edo CAN, Bishop Oyonude Kure and Revd Richard Okere, among others.
Osinbajo was accompanied by Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, his deputy, Mr. Philip Shaibu, Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Osarodion Ogie; Senator Manus Abbe from Rivers State and other top government officials of Edo State to the meeting
After the three-hour session, however, Kure said it was conveyed “to pray for the peace and progress of Nigeria. The meeting was fine. We prayed for him. We believed that there will be peace in Nigeria and that there will be progress in our nation.”
When asked if the CAN has agreed to endorse the candidacy of President Muhammadu Buhari for reelection, Kure simply said that the association’s responsibility was to pray for those who are in authority.
According to him, what I will tell you is that our responsibility is to pray for those who are contesting and that is what we have done. We simply gathered to pray for the peaceful election and nothing more.
As part of activities marking his one-day visit to the state, Osinbajo unveiled TraderMoni, a component of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), in Benin City, promising the federal government’s unwavering support for micro businesses across the country.
At the unveiling, the vice president assured market women in Oba Market and Ekiosa, Benin City that traders would receive N10,000 as a start-up capital, which is an initiative of the federal government through the Bank of Industry (BOI) and Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP) to fund micro businesses in the country.
Osinbajo said the initiative was part of the federal government’s Social Investment Programme to boost the funding of micro and small-scale businesses and commercial activities.
He said the sum of N10,000 “is to be repaid in six months. It is targeted at small-scale business enterprises, market women and artisans. The beneficiaries are expected to meet up repayment deadline to enable them qualify for the next tranche ranging from N15,000 to N20,000.
Assuring beneficiaries of more incentives for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Obaseki said his administration would continue to work closely with the Federal Government on the several empowerment initiatives designed to enhance the welfare of Nigerians.
He urged market men and women to take advantage of the funding window to scale their businesses and improve their welfare, noting that the scheme has come to stay in Edo State.