Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, on Friday, flagged off One Billion Naira for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Development Fund.
The Governor, who made the symbolic presentation of cheques to the beneficiaries at a brief ceremony held at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, admitted that “the injection of funds into Small and Medium Scale Enterprises is under our Post-COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.”
Speaking further, Makinde said: “When you talk about MSMEs, you are referring to organizations that have between less than ten to two hundred employees. Even though we did not resort to total lockdown in the state, many small and medium scale businesses have suffered and are still suffering because of the partial lockdown.”
The Governor lamented how the inflation rate has affected the spending power of the people and how businesses that still operate are not running optimally.
While saying that injection of funds will revitalise the economy of the state, he assured that the gesture would continue until the scheme targets the growth of MSMEs for an enhanced Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and create more employment opportunities for the people of Oyo state.
Makinde said the intervention was made through the Oyo State Investment And Public Private Partnership Agency(OYSIPA),
“We are making this intervention through the Oyo State Investment and Public-Private Partnership Agency. We have seen situations in the past where such schemes revolved around the people that are in charge of the scheme. We have tested the data that we met on the ground and we decided to take a different approach. OYSIPA will be in charge of this and I am confident that they will do a better job because we have been gathering data over this period. So, we know the people that are actually in need of this shot in the arm.
“The loan disbursement and recovery system will ensure that the scheme enjoys a broader spread and, ultimately, a wider area of coverage. So, we are looking at reaching MSMEs across the 33 local government areas in the state.
“When we were at Awe, a young lady entrepreneur said she was looking for about Five Hundred Thousand Naira but this fund will provide up to Three Million Naira per MSME and will be disbursed through Microfinance Banks at a single-digit interest rate,” Makinde said.
A beneficiary, Mr Taoofeek, who spoke to newsmen after the symbolic cheque presentation, expressed gratitude to God and Engr Seyi Makinde, thanking the governor for being responsive and responsible with his systematic approach to governance.
He, however, promised to use the fund for what it is earmarked for.
Dignitaries at the flag-off ceremony include Deputy Governor, Rauf Olaniyan, Secretary to the state Government, Mrs Olubanwo Adeosun, Director-General Oyo State Investment and Public Private Partnership, Hon Segun Ogunwuyi, among others.