Chief (Mrs) ShimiteBello, DSMSMEDA boss.
By Andrew Ikehi
The Delta State Government has commenced the disbursement of grants-in-aid to artisans in the state as working capital to boost their businesses.
The grants, in excess of N115 million, are being disbursed to over 2,300 artisans across the 25 local government areas of the state, the Executive Secretary, Delta State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (DSMSMEDA), Chief (Mrs.) Shimite Bello has said.
The target beneficiaries, according to her include members of welders association, fashion designers association, barbers association as well as hair dressers’ association.
While barbers association and hair dressers association have 750 target beneficiaries each, welders and fashion designers have 300 and 500 target beneficiaries respectively.
The DSMSMEDA boss also hinted that so far, out of the 2,300 target beneficiaries, about 1,700 of them have received their packages from the disbursement that began barely a week ago.
Pointing out that the remaining beneficiaries would be attended to in the next few days.
She said: “You would recall that this administration, within the past three and a half years, have been doing a lot of empowerment. Recently, the state Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, decided to extend the empowerment programme to artisans in the state.
“Currently, he is doing what we call ‘Grant-in-Aid’ to artisans, which includes welders association, fashion designers association, hair dressers association, and barbers association.
“You would also recall that we have been taking care of different groups in the state, particularly transporters and butchers association. Last week, we started dealing with the welders association, fashion designers, barbers association, and hair dressers.
“The number of welders we are empowering are 300, fashion designers, 500, barbers are 750 while hair dressers are also 750 which gives us a total of 2,300 and the beneficiaries cut across the 25 local government areas of the state.
“This is the second group of beneficiaries that the state government is giving the grant-in-aid. The first group was the farmers association who was given grants few months ago. For this empowerment, the state Governor has graciously approved the sum of N115 million.
“We have started the disbursement since last week. As at today (Wednesday, 8/5/2019), we have disbursed to over 1,700 beneficiaries. Latest by next weekwe would have concluded all the disbursements. The reason for the delay in the remaining number is as a result of some challenges the beneficiaries are having with their bank details,” Chief Bello said.