By Adedeji Egbebi
Ikole Ekiti (Ekiti) Oct. 7, 2020 Some artisans in Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti on Wednesday, appealed to the state government to assist them with soft loans to expand their businesses.
The artisans in separate interviews with journalists in Ikole Ekiti, complained that their businesses had collapsed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
They noted that most of them found it difficult to feed because they had spent their savings and capital on food and their children’s welfare during the pandemic.
Mrs Dupe Owolabi, a hairdresser, said that she had no money to buy the styling creams and weave on to boost her business.
Owolabi said that she had spent all her savings on the upkeep of her children during the COVID-19 lockdown.
She appealed to Gov. Kayode Fayemi to assist artisans with soft loans to boost their businesses.
Mr Kehinde Anjorin, a Shoemaker, also appealed to the state government for soft loans to boost his business.
Anjorin said that the costs of leather materials used in producing shoes and bags were becoming expensive on daily basis.
He appealed to the state government to consider the plight of artisans and provide funds for them to cushion the effects of COVID-19.
Mr Ahmed Ibrahim, a Welder, equally appealed to the state government to show concern about the financial challenges facing artisans.
Ibrahim said that the cost of iron had increased, saying he could not afford to build an iron gate for sale.
He gave an assurance that the artisans would not default in repaying the loans if granted.
A Furniture Maker, Mr Bayode Ogunmola, said that he had not been able to save enough money to buy imported and local woods to build furniture such as chairs, television stands, among others for sale.
Ogunmola said that since he resumed in his workshop after the COVID-19 pandemic, he had not been able to display any furniture for sale.
He appealed to the state government to consider the suffering of the artisans and help them with affordable loans.