The Kwara Government on Wednesday commenced the disbursement of N600 million grant to empower 30,000 women and petty traders across the 16 local government areas of the state.
The Acting General Manager, Kwara State Social Investment Programme (KWASSIP), Mr Abdulqowiyu Olododo, disclosed this during the disbursement exercise at Asa, Ilorin West and Ilorin South Local Government Sreas of the state.
He said that the disbursement of the fund in other local governments of the state have been scheduled for the coming days.
According to him, the support which is being coordinated under the state government, is a replica of the World Bank programme, Nigeria for Women Project, with each of the beneficiaries receiving N20,000 to support their trades.
“We are paying N20,000 each to 30,000 petty traders across the state.
“As I speak, enumeration is still ongoing to accommodate more people. But we needed to kick-start the payment.
“From now till Saturday, we will be paying the first batch of the beneficiaries.
“And subsequently like a week or so, disbursement for the new entrants will continue. We are doing Ilorin West, South and Asa today.
“We should be able to cover about 3,000 beneficiaries of them under the first tranche,” Olododo said.
He dismissed speculations that the selection process of the beneficiaries was political, saying that the list is a product of consultations with relevant stakeholders, including trade groups in the affected locations.
In his remarks, the TIC Chairman of Asa Local Government Council, Alhaji Abdulganiyu Saadu, said the concept was people-focused, one that will go a long way in reviving several businesses and hailed the gesture of the state government.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke with newsmen expressed their joy for the financial support and applauded the process leading them to be beneficiaries.
Mrs Kabira Nasirdeen, a foodstuff trader, said the money would help strengthening her business and thanked Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for the business-friendly initiative.
Mrs Ishola Memuna, a gari seller, prayed for AbdulRazaq for coming to their rescue through such empowerment. nan.