Hammed Shittu in Ilorin.
A Kwara State-based foundation, Gobir Organisation Foundation, has empowered 500 vulnerable women with interest-free loans worth several millions of naira in its bid to support poverty alleviation in the state.
The foundation according to THISDAY checks would assist the affected women to take loans between N10,000 and N50,000 depending on the kind of trade each of them would undertake.
The loans would also be financed by the Zenith Bank Plc, under the Small and Medium Enterprises(SMEs) so as to boost economic growth of the state.
Speaking with journalists shortly after the inauguration of the programme in Ilorin at the weekend, the founder of the Gobir organisation foundation, Alhaji Yakubu Gobir said the gesture was based on its laid down vision and mission for the people of the state.
He also said that, “the aim of the foundation amongst other things is to alleviate poverty which has become a major issue of concern in both Kwara State and nationally and also to empower the women folk; often recognised as the most vulnerable in our society.”
Gobir, said the empowerment programme would bring relief and succour to every beneficiary.
He, however, urged them not to abuse the privilege given to them, stressing that the money must be invested in businesses, and not on personal wants.
Gobir noted further that, “the funds utilised are not from government, but a collaboration with Zenith bank and should therefore not be seen as money that can be embezzled.”
He pointed out that, “the amount disbursed at the programme is between N10,000 and N50,000 depending on the organisation’s assessment of the needs of the beneficiary and organisation is also giving training on basic financial intelligence and entrepreneurship to the beneficiaries”.
Gobir, who is a seasoned social entrepreneur maintained that government alone cannot provide jobs to all, hence the need for well-meaning individuals/ organisations to come to the aid of the under privileged in the state.
On their part, some of the beneficiaries who spoke at the event appreciated the founder of the foundation for his large heart and kind gesture in a bid to ease the sufferings of people through his laudable actions.