SAfER: Makinde presents cheques to beneficiaries

SAfER: Makinde presents cheques to beneficiaries
Oyo State governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, has presented cheques to some small and micro enterprises as part of the Sustainable Action for Economic Recovery (SAfER).
The SME loans are parts of measures instituted by the state government to cushion the hardship occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidy
The symbolic presentation of the cheques to the beneficiaries was performed by the governor, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Otunba Segun Ogunwuyi, and held at the Conference Room of the Secretary to the State Government, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.
While presenting the dummy cheques to the beneficiaries, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, who doubles as the Chairman of the SAfER Committee, explained that the state government is not just giving palliatives but executing a sustainable action for economic recovery.
He noted that there are four other components of the programme, which have commenced aside the loan scheme.
The governor stated that the government is ready to support small and micro enterprises in the state, saying micro businesses can access between N50,000 and N250,000 while small businesses also have the opportunity of accessing from N250,000 to N1 million loans under the scheme.
The governor stressed that the beneficiaries were selected without any political influence or patronages.
He said: “You are welcome to the presentation of cheques to the beneficiaries of Oyo State Small and Micro Enterprise support scheme. “Before I go to the symbolic presentation, let me talk on what we call SAfER, because other states of the federation have been talking about palliatives but as a state, His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde, our amiable governor and a visionary leader said he doesn’t want to give our citizens palliatives. He said that what he wants to do is to teach them how to fish so that they can have fish for the rest of their lives rather than have fish for one day.
“So, he came up with this acronyms that is called SAfER, which means Sustainable Action for Economic Recovery.
“Basically, it was broken into five stages, number one is what we call food intervention but people call it food palliative and we have it for 200,000 households and we are reaching the poorest of the poor, because a lot of people have been coming to us even those who can afford three square meals saying that they have not gotten the palliatives.
“But we have said that the food intervention is for the poorest of the poor not for people that can afford food. It is for the vulnerable, the widows, the physically challenged.
“We also have the other one which is transportation, we know that the Mass Transit Buses of the Pacesetter Transport Service have been going around the state but before now all the buses were in the state capital. So, we deployed them to all the zones, that means that if you get to Ogbomosho now, you can easily access them. If you go to Eruwa, and also Saki, so basically what we are doing is that we know that people have to move around and we have subsidised transportation so as to lessen the effect of the hardship within the economy.
“The third one is that of health, we have the Oyo State Health Insurance Scheme and His Excellency has graciously approved that 100,000 vulnerable people and 50,000 retirees especially our retirees should be enrolled to the scheme.
“We also have food security component. What we are doing is that we disbursed N1billion as loans to farmers. They are into two categories, we have the young entrepreneurs and the small farmers and we are disbusing to them, this is handled by the Ministry of Agriculture in conjunction with OYSADA as well as ARCOS, which I believe the micro finance banks are working with them.
“The other part of food security is the distribution of farm inputs. Just this last Friday, about 10,000 of 50kg maize were distributed to farmers.
“The last leg is what we are doing today, the small and micro enterprise loan scheme. We have people that are into micro businesses and N50,000 can go a long way to boost a business.
“So, the whole essence of SAfER is to reflate the economy of Oyo State so that as we are regarded as Asiwaju, we would remain Asiwaju and our state would always remain as the pacesetter.”
Also speaking, the chairman, SAfER Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sub-committee, Professor Musibau Babatunde, maintained that the loan support will not only boost SMEs, which is the baseline of the state’s economic activities, but also help in achieving sustainable goals, which in essence is to provide succour to the people.
He added that, the loan is without collateral and the beneficiaries have three months moratorium period before the commencement of repayment, while also admonishing them to repay the loan within the shortest time so as to avail other beneficiaries to benefit from the largesse of the government.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Director-General, Oyo State Investment of Public Private Partnership Agency, (OYSIPA), Barrister Olatilewa Folami, advised the beneficiaries to use the loan judiciously for the purpose meant for.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mr Sunday Fadipe, expressed his gratitude to the state government for the loan support and promised to use the loan wisely.
Other members of the SAfER committee present at the event were, Barrister Olasunkanmi Olaleye, Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Prince Dotun Oyelade, Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Alhaji Gafar Bello, Executive Assistant on Budget and Dr Olusola Akande, Executive Secretary, Oyo State Health Insurance Agency.
Sulaimon Olanrewaju
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Oyo State
October 30, 2023.

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