By Kayode Abdulazeez and Palma Ileye
A beneficiary of the Kwara State female petty traders empowerment scheme, codenamed ‘Owo-Isowo’ (trader moni) Madam Asabi Alaga from Ogele Ward in Asa Local Government of the state has lauded the initiative, saying it did not only bring succour to the rural women but, worthy emulation by other states.
This impactful initiative, she said would endear the love of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq in the heart of women come 2023.
Asabi, who spoke with The Accurate News Nigeria said “this is one of the best initiatives for us in the rural areas, we have never benefited directly from the government like this in large numbers before, it will go a long way in bringing financial relief to us and we pray to the Almighty Allah to continue to give our Governor’s reasons to be happy too”
“We thank our governor, people behind this programme, and promise to stand by this government”
Owo-Isowo is one of the initiatives of the Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq led administration to support the petty female traders across the 16 LGA in the state, between N20,000 to 30,000 grant to female traders in the state.
Speaking at the venue of one of the disbursement centre yesterday, the Acting General Manager of the Kwara State Social Investment Programme, KWASSIP, Abdulqowiyu Olododo told newsmen that said reaffirmed that petty traders were being paid N20,000 each to 30,000 across the State.
“As I speak, enumeration is still ongoing to accommodate more people. But we needed to kick-start the payment”
“From now till Saturday, we will be paying the first batch of the beneficiaries. And subsequently like a week or so, disbursement for the new entrants will continue.
“We are doing Ilorin West, South and Asa today. We should be able to cover about 3000 beneficiaries of them under the first tranche,” he said.
Olododo dismissed speculations that the selection process was political, saying the list was a product of consultations with relevant stakeholders, including trade groups in the affected locations.
“Some people are speculating that the selection process is political. There is nothing like political patronage about the exercise.
“This administration is known to spread dividends of democracy to all parts of the state and to all persons at various times. We work with different community people, trade bodies, and other stakeholders across the State who helped us to identify the genuine petty traders.
“This is not the first time the government is giving out Owo Isowo (trader-moni). It is a second phase of such. After disbursement, our office usually does proper monitoring and evaluation, because we have their details including addresses with us.
“The evaluation enables us to ascertain the impact from the beneficiaries. So far, we are impressed with the feedback and that is why we are doing it again,” said Olododo.
Other beneficiaries also expressed appreciation to the present administration and promised to make judicious use of the funds to advance their businesses.