On Monday, 630 operators in Small and Medium scale enterprises (SMEs) shared a grant of N126m which was received from the Bayelsa state government. The grant was shared among indigenous operators of Bayelsa state alone.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) which covered the proceedings of the event, each person among the 630 operators received a share of N200,000 from the grant.
Proceedings of the N126m Grant Presentation Ceremony
This grant disbursement event where 630 small and medium enterprises in Bayelsa state shared 126m, took place in Bayelsa state on Monday.
On that occasion, the commissioner for women, children’s affairs, and empowerment of the state, Mrs. Faith Opuene, expressed that the grant was a means of encouraging entrepreneurship, hard work, and self-reliance among the people of the state.
In addition to this, she exposed that the grant was part of the government’s empowerment program for women and youths in the state.
Similarly, the commissioner emphasized the need to assist and develop small and medium business owners who are indigenes of the state, owing to the fact that SMEs in the state are mainly dominated by outsiders. She was of the opinion that indigenes in SMEs if given the right assistance, will bounce back to control what belongs to them.
Furthermore, the commissioner explained that the beneficiaries of that grant were strategically selected from all areas of the state. The strategy involved picking a man and a woman each from the 105 political wards of the eight local government areas in the state.
The commissioner added that the grant disbursed was for the months of March, April, and May. Therefore, there is a possibility of subsequent grants like this in the coming months.
Other Speeches By Commissioner Faith Opuene at the Grant Presentation Ceremony
The commissioner for women, children affairs, and empowerment in Bayelsa state, Faith Opuene, who was an active speaker at the event also said some other things, relating to the succession of the grant.
She said that the grant is a fulfillment of the pledge by the present Bayelsa state governor, Douye Diri, to support at least 210 SME operators monthly till the end of his tenure as governor. In the sequel to this, she said:
“The economy of our state is not within our reach; that is because ours is a civil service state and the SMEs space is dominated by people from outside Bayelsa who drive our economy.
“As part of efforts to encourage entrepreneurship among Bayelsa people, our governor approved the empowerment of one man, one woman from each of the 105 wards as part of efforts to spread prosperity among the people.
“Governor Diri had in the second anniversary celebration in February 2022 directed that for the remaining part of his tenure, 210 people who are running small businesses should be supported with a cash grant of N200,000 each.”
Afterward, she made known that no beneficiary will be able to receive the grants in subsequent months as a seven-man committee has been put in charge of it. she said that the seven-man committee is a mechanism that has been put in place to ensure that no beneficiary draws cash from this program twice.
Similarly, she revealed that the biometric data of beneficiaries which were collected prior to the presentation of the grant is a measure used to monitor their financial activities to ensure that the funds are channeled into their business and to avoid subsequent applications.
Furthermore, she added that those who will use the funds to grow their businesses will receive further support in different phases of development. Sequel to this, she urged the beneficiaries to seek developmental ideas, channel them into their business, and await subsequent support from the government.
Reports from Beneficiaries of the Bayelsa State Government N126m Grant
Toward the end of the ceremony, the beneficiaries of the grant expressed their gratitude to the government for such empowering gesture and their willingness to make judicious use of the money.
Amongst the beneficiaries was a physically challenged person, Mr. Tonbra Etiti, who after expressing his gratitude to the government, promised to invest the money in his trade and his wife’s provision store business too.
He also urged the government to sustain the grant so that other people in his condition can benefit from it.
Similarly, Mrs. Ibomotimi Wapamo, who sells locally made snacks in the area, expressed her gratitude to the government for the grant, stating that it would go a long way in the expansion of the scale of her trade to other pastries.
In summary, the ceremony was concluded with a vote of thanks from a representative on behalf of the beneficiaries, thanking the state government for their assistance and promising to do their own part to invest the money properly.