Loans disbursed by Edo State Government and the Bank of Industry (BOI) have promoted the expansion of businesses operated by persons living with disability, Managing Director, Edo State Skills Development Agency (EdoJobs), Mrs. Violet Obiokoro, has said.
Addressing journalists in Benin City, Mrs. Obiokoro explained that N2billion Edo State MSME Funds is currently managed by the EdoJobs in partnership with the Bank of Industry and Trustfund Microfinance Bank, and is aimed at providing financial and other business support services to qualified entrepreneurs involved in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise [MSME] businesses located in the eighteen (18) Local Government Areas of Edo State.
According to her, “It may be important to note that some of these Person Living With Disability (PLWD) beneficiaries are in various business sectors such as shoe making, petty trading, distribution of made in Nigeria goods, among others. They include micro businesses in the markets such as Oba Market, New Benin Market, Ekiosa Market, Sabo Market and others.”
“The vision of the Project is to ensure that more than 5,000 MSMEs in Edo State have access to funds (loans, grants, etc.) for business growth and expansion while putting considerations on Gender, LGAs, and Persons with Special Needs.”
She added, “In view of these criteria, 60% of the beneficiaries are female while 40% are male. However, 10% of the total money from the funds have been reserved for business owners in Edo State who are living with disability and since disbursement of funds began in February 2022, 6% out of the 10% allotted to People living with disability has been successfully disbursed to the beneficiaries to the tune of N28.8m spread across the three senatorial districts in the states.
“The project has so far disbursed a sum of N480m, which include bank charges, in the Micro-credit segment scheme to a total of 1,631 beneficiaries of which 105 of the beneficiaries are People Living With Disability which comprises 52 males and 53 females.”