The Kwara State Government has commenced the distribution of a 600 million naira grant to empower at least 30,000 women and petty traders across the sixteen Local Government Areas of the State.
The State Government announced that the disbursement exercise commenced on Wednesday, September 21, 2022.
According to the announcement, the support, which was coordinated under the Kwara State Social Investment Programme (KWASSIP), is a replica of World Bank programme, Nigeria for Women Project, with each of the beneficiaries receiving N20,000 to support their trades.
The disbursement exercise started with Asa, Ilorin West and Ilorin South, while other local governments were scheduled for the coming days.
“We are paying N20,000 each to 30,000 petty traders across the State. As I speak, enumeration is still ongoing to accommodate more people. But we needed to kick-start the payment, ” Acting GM, KWASSIP Abdulqowiyu Olododo told newsmen on the sideline of one of the disbursement centres at Alanamu, Ilorin West LG.
“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.”
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 benefitting 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 worked 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”, he said.
In his remarks, the TIC Chairman for Asa, Alhaji Abduganiy Saadu Atebise said the concept was people-focused and one that would go a long way in reviving several businesses. He therefore, hailed the gesture of the State government.
Some of the beneficiaries, who spoke to newsmen, expressed their joy for the financial support and applauded the process leading to their selection.
Mrs. Kabira Nasirdeen, a foodstuff vendor, said the money would help strengthen her business, she also thanked AbdulRazaq for the business-friendly initiative.