By Adedeji Egbebi
Eda-Oniyo (Ekiti State) Nov. 6, 2020 The Artisans in Ilejemeje Local Government Area (LGA) of Ekiti State, on Friday appealed to the state government to grant them soft loans to enable them recover from the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on their businesses.
Some of the artisans, who spoke in separate interviews with newsmen in Eda-Oniyo, Ekiti, on Friday, expressed concern that their businesses had been badly affected following the COVID-19 lockdown.
The artisans said that they had been working tirelessly to ensure that they prevented their businesses from total collapse, but could not achieve that without help from outside.
A tailor, Mrs Foluso Agbebi, said that the cost of sowing materials had increased in the market and most tailors were finding it difficult to buy quality materials to give their customers value for their money.
Agbebi appealed to the state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, to give the artisans loans to boost their businesses.
A furniture maker,, Mr Dapo Agunbiade, also made the same appeal to the government.
Agunbiade said that most of the prices of imported wood and chemicals used in spraying the furniture were on the increase daily and it was becoming impossible to buy those materials.
He appealed to the government to regulate the price of imported wood in addition to granting them the loans.
A Cobbler, Ayodeji Owolabi, who also spoke to NAN, equally decried the rising cost in the price of local and imported leather.
Owolabi said he was now being forced to ask for payment upfront from his customers to be able to meet their needs.
He assured the government that the artisans would not default in repaying the loans if granted.
A hairdresser, Mrs Kemisola Ogundipe, said that most of her equipment were old and ineffective, but she had no choice but to continue using them because there was no money to buy new ones.
Ogundipe therefore appealed to the government to consider the sufferings of the artisans and help them with affordable loans.