Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State says his administration will set aside N500m as a revolving loan facility for trade groups and artisans in Ogun.
The governor made this known at a meeting with representatives of artisans and trade groups in the state, held at the Presidential Lodge, Abeokuta.
He explained that the loan facility would enable them expand their businesses and contribute more to the development of the state.
“I am going to make the sum of N500m available as a revolving loan to all members of trade groups and artisans. This money will enable them to expand their businesses. This loan must be paid back within the stipulated time frame. Please when you collect the loan, pay back so that others will collect”, the governor stated.
Abiodun acknowledged the importance of trade groups and artisans in the overall development of the society, noting that the state government’s efforts at providing amenities such roads, was aimed at impacting on their businesses and making the state viable economically.
He said as a responsible and responsive government, his administration has defrayed 80 percent of worker’s deductions, attributing the inability to offset all to the additional N1bn to the wage bill as a result of the increase in the minimum wage.
In his remarks, a former governor of the state, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, pointed out that Governor Abiodun had recorded a huge success in less than four years in office and he has been able to complete most of the uncompleted projects left behind by his predecessors.
While assuring the groups that the governor would continue to work towards a better Ogun State, Osoba called for total support for all the APC candidates in the forthcoming elections, stressing the need to re-elect Abiodun as this would benefit the state in the area of more people-oriented projects.
Speaking, President, Ogun State Cooperative Federation, Alhaji Olaleye, said the organization has more than 13,000 registered cooperative societies, with over one million members, adding that “it is responsible for coordinating activities of cooperative societies across the state”.
Meanwhile, the governor has said that his administration would set up Neighbourhood Watch as part of security architecture to guarantee security of lives and properties in communities in the State.
Speaking at a meeting with representatives of Community Development Councils, Area Community Councils and Community Development Areas at the Presidential Lodge, Abeokuta, Abiodun stressed the need for the outfit in order to identify and fish out criminals that have taken refuge in the communities.
“Peace is needed for development and so we are going to start our neighborhood watch project that will be responsible in identifying and fishing out criminals that live in our various communities.
“Our State is known for peace and we are going to ensure that we maintain that peace”, the governor noted.
He also informed that a Social Investment Programme, aimed at taking care of the vulnerable and the poorest in the communities, has been put in place and the representatives of the communities would be appointed by the government to identify those to benefit from the programme.
“There will be Environmental Inspectors in our communities to ensure that our environment is is well taken care of all the times. I want the Community Development Councils to collaborate with the Commissioner for Cooperatives and Community Development to pick those that we will use in this programme”, Abiodun added.
He further disclosed that his administration has procured additional 110 new transformers to be distributed to local governments, calling on communities that have not benefited from previous distribution to exercise patience as it would get to their turn.
On the request for the take over of community schools and healthcare centres by government, the governor urged the associations to list such facilities to enable government attend to them in phases.
The governor observed that as the people’s government, his administration would continue to be inclusive by engaging the communities on projects that would have maximum impact on their well-being, calling for continued support at all times.
The Commissioner for Cooperatives and Community Development, Abayomi Hunye, in his welcome address, said the State has about 14, 000 Community Development Areas, informing that the meeting was called to address issues affecting communities in the state.
In his remarks, the State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Yemi Sanusi, noted the contributions of Community Development Councils in turning around the fortune of communities, saying government with inputs from the community leaders have executed numerous people-oriented projects across the state, calling for their support in the forthcoming elections.
The Vice Chairman, Community Development Councils, Alhaji Waheed Adekunle, in his speech, appreciated the governor for the upward review of Grant-in-aid given to the council and for always carrying them along in the scheme of things.
While calling for the empowerment of women and youths as well as provision of electricity transformers to address power outage in the communities, Adekunle solicited for the take over of community owned education and health facilities for proper staffing and management, assuring that the leadership in the communities would mobilize the people to support the re-election bid of the governor.