Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has approved the enumeration of 30,000 petty traders as new beneficiaries of the state’s interest-free microfinance loans, a statement said on Tuesday.
It also stated that the total number of beneficiaries, including transporters, in the first phase has hit 30,301, announcing that recovery begins in September.
“During the lockdown last year, we disbursed funds to 11,197 transporters to cushion the effect of the pandemic on their business. Afterwards, another 21,623 were enumerated for disbursement. However, 19,104 have so far received the funds, making 30,301 beneficiaries in total, with disbursement still ongoing” the statement quoted the anchor of the programme, Mr Mohammed Brimah, as saying.
“Now, we are starting the second phase of Owo Isowo with enumeration of another 30,000 petty traders. This is in line with Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s agenda for inclusive growth and development. The targets are those selling petty goods at home and corners, unlike the last phase which focused on markets.
“Governor AbdulRazaq is firm in his resolve to provide support to enterprising men and women within the available resources, stamping out endemic poverty. The second phase is being floated to maximise the scheme’s impact on commerce in the local communities.
“Our agents are currently intensifying efforts to cover 6 remaining LGAs of the 9,000 disbursements we started in February. We have fully covered Kwara Central and Kwara North, except the traders in Baruten LGA. Our team will continue disbursement in Ifelodun, Irepodun, Ekiti, Oke-Ero, Isin, and Baruten to wrap up the 1st phase this week.”
The statement cited technical challenges as the reason for the delay in disbursement, adding that the Central Bank of Nigeria’s suspension of BVN validation for Fintechs also affected their operations.
“We acknowledge that there has been some delay in covering some LGAs. There was a hitch in validating beneficiaries’ BVN, a key eligibility criterion introduced in line with the AbdulRazaq-led administration’s commitment to accountability, as a result of suspension by the CBN. But that has been resolved now.”
While praising AbdulRazaq for extending the moratorium due to the impact of COVID-19 on businesses, the statement announced that the recovery of the N10,000 interest-free loan from the first set of beneficiaries will begin in September across the state.