The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has enjoined beneficiaries of Oko’wo Dapo initiative not to see the empowerment programme as their share of the national cake but as an avenue for economic empowerment, through which they would be gainfully employed, improve productivity and become employers of labour.
Governor Abiodun who made this known at the launching of Oko’wo Dapo, held at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, said the sustainability of the programme was a bilateral responsibility with government providing the funding, urging beneficiaries to reciprocate the gesture by ensuring that the funds were utilized for the purpose it was meant for.
He said his administration would create an enabling environment for Public Private Partnership (PPP) fundamental to the creation of an enduring economic development and individual prosperity for the people, adding that more programmes were underway to cover different social strata and sectors of the State economy.
Earlier, Wife of the Governor, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun noted that the initiative was to provide affordable micro loans to females, small and micro entrepreneurs, who lacked collateral to access loans for their businesses or whose credit history could not be verified.
She said the programme sought to promote financial inclusion and empower women in terms of income generation, savings, mobilization, creation of assets and overall poverty reduction, towards achieving goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals among women in the State.
“As a champion for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, launching this programme is key to achieving goal 5, which encompasses a specific focus on women’s financial inclusion as part of broader commitment to women’s empowerment in economic opportunities and other domains”, she explained.
Mrs. Abiodun urged the 2,000 beneficiaries of the loan to prudently utilize it, describing the launch as the beginning of the journey towards financial security and independence of women in the State.
The Deputy Governor, Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele, while explaining the modalities of the loan scheme, stated that the initiative was not meant for those whose businesses had already grown but for those who found it hard to access loans for petty businesses.
She explained that the interest free loan would be a revolving one that would be disbursed every month, adding that groups that were consistent in repayment would be opportuned to access higher funds.