The Ogun State Government is set to empower another batch of 1,000 Micro and Small Enterprises (SMEs) beneficiaries from the N1billion grant in the second phase disbursement for applicants, to further mitigate the effects of COVID-19 in the sector.
Recall that the first phase of the grant disbursement under the Ogun State COVID -19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Programme (OG-CARES) last July, had over 1,000 SMEs beneficiaries who were empowered with N120 million.
Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hon. Adebola Sofela, while speaking at a stakeholders’ engagement held at the Obas’ Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta for Ogun Central Senatorial District, on the modalities for accessing the N1billion Operational Grant for SMEs, said the Prince Dapo Abiodun-led administration was determined to uplift businesses towards enhancing economic growth and development of the State.
Sofela disclosed that the grant was also to help vulnerable people with physical impediments and also business owners that were struggling to survive, adding that the initiative cuts across various sector of the economy, such as trade, agriculture artisans, among others.
The commissioner assured that the scheme would be a continuous exercise, stating that it would cut across the three senatorial districts of the State.
He enjoined the beneficiaries to apply through the designated portal, noting that applicants must have a running business outfit in the State for not less than three years, belong to a notable association within the State, be a regular tax payer, and means of identification.
While appreciating the Governor for the initiative, Hon. Sofela pointed out that SMEs play an important role in the economy, as they were major contributors to job creation and global economic development.
‘’The strides of the present government, particularly in the area of infrastructural development has continued to attract investors into the State,’’ he said.
Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Ogun Invest, who doubles as the Programme Manager for OG-CARES, Miss Sola Arobieke urged people to apply via https://www.ngcaresbusiness. org and select Ogun State and carefully upload their data.
She said any mistake might hinder the process of the grant, and advised applicants to revalidate their bank accounts.
In their goodwill messages, the Chairmen, House Committee on Transformation, as well as Industry, Trade and Investment, Hon. Daisi Elemide and Hon. Bisi Oyedele, respectively, noted that various beneficiaries had testified to the collection of the grant, even as they applauded the state government for the gesture.
Earlier in his address, the Director of Disbursement Link Indicator, Mr. Gbenga Bankole commended the governor for approving the commencement of the second phase of the grant, saying it was an added advantage for participants to get information on the eligibility criteria and how to apply for the grant.
In their separate responses, the Iyaloja of Aseese Market, Obafemi Owode Local Government, Chief (Mrs.) Ganiyat Ogunleye, the representatives of Leather Artisans Association of Nigeria and Community Development Council, Mrs. Olabisi Babalola and Mr. Rasheed Emilia confirmed that their members have been benefitting from the Prince Dapo Abiodun-led government, appreciating him for fulfilling his promises.