Delta State has started the disbursement of grants-in-aid to handicraft workers in the state as working capital to enhance their businesses. The grants accumulating to N115 million will be given 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), Mrs. Shimite Bello, said at the fund disbursement exercise that the target recipients include members of the Barbers Association, Welders Association, Fashion Designers Association as well as Hair Dressers Association. However, the Barbers Association and Hair Dressers Associations have 750 target beneficiaries each, while the Fashion Designers and Welders Associations have 500 and 300 target beneficiaries respectively.
Target Beneficiaries Of The N115 Million Disbursement.
Speaking on the initiative, Mrs. Bello stated that of the 2,300 target beneficiaries, over 1,700 of them had received their packages from the payout that began a week ago. According to her, the beneficiaries awaiting theirs would be attended to in the next few days.
“You will recall that this administration, in the past three and a half years, has been doing a lot of empowerment programmes. Recently, the state’s governor, Ifeanyi Okowa decided to extend the empowerment programme to artisans in the state,” she said.
“Presently, he is doing what we call ‘Grant-In-Aid’ to artisans, which include Welders Association, Fashion Designers Association, Hair Dressers Association, and Barbers Association. You will also recall that we have been taking care of different groups in the state, particularly transporters and butchers associations,” Mrs. Bello added.
She further stated that the state governor has graciously approved the sum of N115 million for this empowerment exercise, citing that in the previous week, the government in collaboration with the agency, started dealing with the welders’ association, fashion designers, barbers’ association and hairdressers.
She, however, highlighted that this set is the second group of recipients that the state government is giving Grant-In-Aid, noting that the first group was the farmers’ association who was given grants a few months ago.
Economic Implications Of This Empowerment Exercise In Delta State.
This move by the state government in collaboration with the state’s micro, small and medium business agency, is a step towards supporting handicraft owners in the state. A major problem faced by entrepreneurs in Nigeria is access to credit from banks. Sometimes this credit is unavailable and at other times, there is a lack of collateral/securities to secure the loan.
It is important to note that entrepreneurship is the driving wheel of development in every economy. Empowering the budding micro and small businesses in the country will enormously drive development, and also contribute significantly to the state’s gross domestic product (GDP).