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Akeredolu distributes N550m loan to Ondo traders



The Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, on Monday, distributed loans worth N550 million to market women, entrepreneurial groups and cooperatives societies in the state, in a bid to boost economic activities.

He said the measure was part of his administration’s determined efforts to “tackle poverty, banish hunger and create wealth in the state.”

The loan distribution followed the launch of the Apalara Micro-Credit Loan Scheme, which, according to the state government, was conceived to “sensitise, re-orientate and inculcate the spirit of self-reliance and self-sustenance in the people.”

Mr Akeredolu, it was gathered, received briefings on assumption of office, on existing loan regimes at the micro-credit agency and that there was a huge backlog of unrecovered loans disbursed by previous governments in the state.

He had challenged the micro-credit agency to embark on a strategic plan to address the lapses identified in past practices in loan administration.

Speaking in Akure on Monday, Mr Akeredolu said the task given to the agency gave birth to the new brand called Apalara Micro-Credit Loan Scheme.

“The scheme is to inculcate in our people, the spirit to properly utilize credit facilities obtained from the state micro-credit agency, particularly on the need for them to appreciate the fact that funds disbursed should not be taken as their own share of the national cake,” he said.

“As a fallout of our determination to lift the entire people of Ondo State out of the current poverty in the land, a total sum of N550 million has been approved by our administration to be disbursed to various groups and individuals at a single digit interest rate.”

Market women will receive N357.5 million (65 per cent) of the loan, while male traders will get N192.5 million (35 per cent).

He, however, said the state government had evolved a well-articulated credit management system for loan beneficiaries to ensure effective risk management to guide against defaults in order to sustain the loan scheme.

While urging the beneficiaries of the loan scheme to genuinely utilise the money, the governor added that the route to poverty eradication is mainly through hard work, efficient management of available financial resources and positive attitude to life.

He sought the support of all traditional rulers, religious leaders and market leaders, among others for the sustainability of his administration’s developmental efforts.

The Chief Imam of Akure, Yayi Akorede, and other beneficiaries of the loan scheme hailed the governor’s initiative.

Mr Akorede said the governor, since assuming office, has acted as a good leader in the distribution of government’s programmes to the people.

Also speaking, the leader of the market women association in the state, Akinfenwa Iwalola, said Mr Akeredolu has continued to put smiles on the faces of women in the state with the various people-friendly programmes of his administration.

She expressed optimism that the loans would, in no small measure, boost the state’s economy.

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