The Kwara government says a total of 100,000 petty traders will benefit from the first phase of the state’s Social Investment Scheme, otherwise known as ‘Trader money’.
The Chief Press Secretary to Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, Rafiu Ajakaye, made this known in a statement on Saturday in Ilorin.
Ajakaye said that the governor was passionate about uplifting the standard of living of the vulnerable and the poor in the state.
He reiterated the governor’s commitment to supporting the vulnerable and lift them out of extreme poverty.
According to Ajakaye, AbdulRazaq’s passion for the masses in the state informed the launching of the disbursement of N10, 000 ‘Owo isowo’ (trader money) loans to petty traders on Friday.
He said that a total of 21,623 market men and women received the N10,000 loan each to scale up their businesses.
“Once they pay the first tranche, the money will be doubled because of its trickle down effects. This will help the poorest of the poor.
“This scheme is to assist our market men and women, particularly the petty traders. But it is important for beneficiaries to pay back the loan so as to get double of the first tranche.
“The governor was with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo when he launched the social investment scheme in Kwara and saw the huge benefits of the programme.
“That is why he decided to do same here. He saw the impact and believed in it. This is one of the best programmes of the Federal Government,” he said.
Ajakaye stressed that the AbdulRazaq-led government preferred empowering the poor with public funds in a sustainable and transparent manner and without subjecting them to inhuman treatment under the guise of giving them handouts.
He added that the governor did not believe in converting public funds to private property and then give out crumbs in the name of giving out free money.
The governor’s spokesman said that many donor-partners and the Federal Government had hailed the Kwara model, which had improved on the experiences of the Federal Government.
“The World Bank and the Federal Government are urging states to replicate this scheme to lift people out of poverty, and this is the best way to go about it,” he said.