Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, announced additional loan scheme of N100m to traders and artisans in the state, in addition to the N880m already disbursed to members of the association in the past.
He promised that his administration would continue to assist them through regular disbursement of revolving loans as part of his administration’s agenda to rejig the economy of the state.
The governor gave the assurance while addressing traders and artisans who converged on the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba, Ibadan, on Thursday, to honour him with the “The great visionary leader’’ award.
At the ceremony, which was championed by the state branch of National Association of Patent and Proprietary Medicine Dealers, the Wife of the Governor, Mrs Florence Ajimobi, was also conferred with the “Woman of noble character’’ award.
The event was attended by the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji; Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; Eleruwa of Eruwa, Oba Samuel Adegbola; an industrialist, Chief Kola Daisi; Ambassador Olusola Sanu and members of Ibadan Elders’ Forum, among others.
Speaking at the capacity-filled stadium, the governor acknowledged the support of the traders and artisans to his administration as well as their contributions towards the economic development of the state.
He recalled that a sum of N350 million revolving loan was distributed by his government to seven professional associations in 2014 at N50 million per association, adding that a total of 7,000 traders and artisans benefitted from the loan at N50,000 per person.
The governor, who said that a total sum of N880 million revolving loan had been so far been distributed to the traders, added that more loans would still be made available to them to boost their businesses.
He announced N100 million revolving loan package for members of NAPPDEM.
The governor said, “Traders in Oyo State have not had it this good. We disbursed N350million to seven traders’ association in 2014 and they have been paying back the loan.
“I want to assure our traders that they will continue to enjoy the dividends of democracy because you are playing a major role in the socio-economic development of Oyo State. We appreciate your support towards entrenching a better Oyo State.’’
The governor also disclosed his administration’s readiness to launch a massive employment scheme through what he called the Oyo State Agricultural Revolution Programme, which, according to him, would commence in April.
He said that the Awe Farm Settlement had been chosen as the training centre for the youth to be engaged in the programme, stressing that they would be paid a stipend of N10,000 per month for the duration of the training after which they would be established with the needed inputs.
The governor said, “Starting from next month (April), our agric revolution that will create massive employment opportunities will berth and it will begin with a training programme at our farm settlement in Aawe for our youths who are interested in agriculture.
“They will be trained in modern farming technology and be paid N10,000 monthly stipend for the duration of their training.
“It is our belief that engagement of youths in agriculture at this moment of recession will serve the dual purposes of maintaining peace and developing their economic power.”
Aside the agricultural revolution, the governor also said no fewer than 157 Chinese companies would be arriving Ibadan to commence the Pacesetter-Polaris Industrial Scheme.
According to him, the Pacesetter-Polaris Free Trade Zone is a public-private partnership scheme between the state government and some Chinese investors projected to create over 5,000 jobs in solar-power and allied productions.
The State Chairman of NAPPDEM, Alhaji Abiodun Ashiru said the association picked the governor for the honor because of what he called his ‘historical feats’ in entrenching peace and security which had hitherto eluded the state.
He also commended the governor for carrying out policies and programmes which he said had promoted economic, social and infrastructural development in the state.
“Nothing good comes easy, but the governor has made us to realize why we should persevere in the face of policy change so as to reap good yields.
“When he started his urban renewal and education policies, he was attacked by some ignorant and mischievous people for effecting the change we had all been yearning for but today, we have seen the result, particularly in the last NECO examination result in which Oyo State came second in Nigeria,” he said.