The Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State has announced the launch of the Social Investment Programme to support petty traders, the vulnerable and lift many people out of extreme poverty.
“This scheme is to assist our market men and women, particularly petty traders. But it is important for beneficiaries to pay back the loan to get a double of the first tranche,” the Governor said in Ilorin as he officially launched the disbursement of the money to 21,623 beneficiaries statewide.
“I was with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo when he launched the social investment scheme in Kwara and we have seen the huge benefits of the programme. That is why we decided to do the same here. I saw the impact and I believe in it. This is one of the best programmes of the federal government.”
“This is not a personal money but government’s funds which belong to all of you. We don’t believe in converting public funds to private properties and then give out crumbs in the pretence of giving you free money. We are giving you the money (which is called Owo Isowo) to do business and repay in a relaxed manner.
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“We are starting with 21,623 market men and women to scale up their businesses. Once they pay the first tranche, the money will be doubled because of its trickle-down effects. This will help the poorest of the poor,” he said.
“During the lockdown, we supported transporters and we will extend the gesture to the aged very soon under Owo Arugbo. So, in all, we are looking at about 100,000 beneficiaries of the social investment programme in the first phase. The programme will roll on as beneficiaries (Owo Isowo) payback.”
The Governor said many donor partners and the federal government have hailed the Kwara model which has improved on the experiences of the Federal Government.
“The World Bank and the federal government are urging states to replicate this scheme to lift people out of poverty and this is the best way to go about it,” AbdulRazaq said.