Osogbo — As FG empowers 20,000 people in Osun
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN has reaffirmed the Federal Government's commitment to eradicating poverty, hunger, unemployment and other related under-development indicators in the country.
The Vice President stated this while launching the nationwide Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Clinic and the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP) in Osogbo, the capital of Osun State.
Osinbajo noted that 20,000 people who had applied for the programme would benefit from the initiative in Osun, while 30,000 others would have the same opportunity once they apply too.
The MSME is a federal government's Empowerment Initiative under the office of the Vice President designed to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the country.
Osinbajo stated that the scheme was initiated by President Muhammadu Buhari in a bid to support small businesses and enterprises by providing the people soft loans to run their businesses.
He said the present administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari, having seen the SME as the powerful economic backbone of any nation, decided to take the bull by the horn to empower the sector as part of efforts to stimulate and re-energise the Nigerian economy.
Osinbajo expressed confidence in the administration of President Buhari, saying, "I have confidence in the fact that our President will take Nigeria and Nigerians to greater heights."
According to him, "we are here in Osun to launch another milestone achievement of the present administration in the country in fulfilment of our electoral promises to the people of Nigeria.
"The nationwide Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) and Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP) are intervention programmes of Mr. President to empower the small businesses in the country. This scheme was initiated to provide interest free loans to those who are into small businesses so as to empower them and as well stimulate our economy.
"To us, this scheme remains the engine of the economy and as a serious government, we have keyed into it to ensure that our people are empowered and taken out of abject poverty and hunger.
"We have made arrangement to empower 50,000 people in Osun under this scheme so as to further strengthen the people's commitment to businesses and as well encourage those who are into SME", he added.
While commending the people of Osun for being enterprising and productive, the Vice President said, "I have seen in the people of this state the zeal for economic productivity and prosperity.
"My visit to this state has made me to see how resourceful the people are. I have seen that Osun is one of the engines of agro-allied economy in Nigeria as this could be easily identified in the zeal of our people to economic growth and development."
He lauded Governor Rauf Aregbesola for bringing to his people the much needed dividends of democracy through his numerous human and capital infrastructural developments.
"My visit has made me to see some of the good works of this administration, particularly on roads, schools and security, among others", Osinbajo emphasised.
Speaking earlier, Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola charged whoever is ready to work and earn a living to key into the laudable programme. He said the programme would empower about 20,000 beneficiaries in all, starting with 10,000 beneficiaries who will get interest-free loans of at least N500,000 each.
According to Aregbesola, "For those of us who are ready to work and earn money, this is an opportunity for you. I advise you to key into this programme and do something good for yourself. We are happy about this because it will go a long way in alleviating the sufferings of people and assist in our efforts to banish hunger and poverty."
Earlier in his welcome address, the Commissioner for Commerce, Industries and Cooperatives, Hon. Ismail Jayeoba Alagbada said the MSME and GEEP would complement Aregbesola's efforts at enhancing small and medium enterprises in the state.
According to him, "Osun can be best described as a cradle of socio-economic protection initiative in Nigeria as many programmes under this scheme had been executed so far.
"Osun is the only state where much had been done to empower her citizens on different areas of the economy such as Agba Osun, the OYES, O'MEAL, O'REAP etc, just as the present government made available to the people interest-free loans. All these interventions have helped to transit the people from poverty to more enduring prosperity", he added.