By Andrew Ikehi
In line with its agricultural reforms and accelerated industrialisation projects, the Delta State government, yesterday said that it has so far, within the past three and a-half years of the current administration in the state, disbursed in excess of N835 Million to over 600 Entrepreneurship groups and Cooperatives, comprising farmers, Youths, market women and men in the state.
This, our correspondent reports, is coming as the state government, also, yesterday presented cash and equipments to over 900 men and women in the state to enable them start off their farming ventures and, or expand already existing ones.
Aside the farmers, our correspondent further reports that over 975 artisans, comprising motorcycle riders, tricycle riders as well as butchers associations were presented with loans to boost their businesses in the state.
The state Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, while flagging off the exercise in Asaba, the state capital, said that his administration will continue to uphold its resolve in enhancing the economic profile of residents in the state by ensuring that they run profitable, viable and sustainable enterprises.
Presenting the items to the beneficiaries, the Governor who was represented by his deputy, Barrister Kingsley Otuaro expressed optimism that the packages presented to the beneficiaries will go a long way in boosting the job and wealth creation project of the state as encapsulated in its SMART agenda initiative.
He said, “To diversify our economy and reduce dependence on the proceeds from oil, this administration has put up programme and policies which would pave way for better employment opportunities, a flourishing agricultural and a grow based business that will in turn, build and consolidate on our economic status.
“it is noteworthy that this administration has made giant strides in the area of job and wealth creation through entrepreneurship programmes which are encapsulated in the SMART agenda.
“The Delta State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency was created to coordinate, promote and facilitate financing of agricultural and allied products for micro, small and medium enterprises.
“The Agency has since the inception of this administration empowered 600 entrepreneurship groups and cooperative across the 25 local government areas of the state to the tune of N835,700,000 though which various empowerment schemes in which youths, farmers, market women and men are beneficiaries” the Governor stated.
He, therefore enjoined beneficiaries of the grants and equipment to put the monies and equipment into judicious use.
Earlier at the event, Executive Secretary, Delta State Micro, Small and medium Enterprises Development Agency, Mrs. Shimite Bello as well as the Chairman of the Agency, Chief Salami Onisuru, in their separate remarks, thanks ed the state Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa for the gesture, just as they charged the beneficiaries to out the money and equipment into proper use.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, the State Chairman, Tricycle and Motorcycle Riders Association, Chief Obi Nzete thanked the state government for the gesture, just as he promised that they will put the loans and equipment to proper use.