No fewer than 3,000 owners of Small and Medium scale businesses in Kebbi State would receive Federal Government’s post COVID-19 grants in order to enhance their business activities, says Abubakar Malami (SAN), Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice..
A statement by Dr Umar Gwandu, his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, issued on Monday, in Birnin-Kebbi, quoted Malami as saying this at the opening ceremony for the disbursement of N2 billion loan facilities to 549 entrepreneurs in the state, under the Federal Government’s Agri-business Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS).
He said that the federal government had noted that many small and medium scale business owners suffered losses due to the COVID 19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, hence, the need to intervene with grants and soft loans to boost their businesses and enhance their productivity.
“Each of the entrepreneurs will receive an amount ranging from one million to five million”, under the scheme, he said.
He said that to increase food production and enhance job creation in Kebbi State, Khadimiyya for Justice and Development Initiatives (KDI), a Non-Governmental Organisation, had facilitated access to soft loans for more than 2,000 cassava farmers and 1,900 rice farmers under the Federal Government’s Anchor Borrowers Programme.
According to the minister, 200 wheelchairs would be distributed to People Living with Disability (PWDs) in Birnin-Kebbi during the first week of January, 2021.
He expressed appreciation that some social development projects already executed, including Widows and Vulnerable Empowerment Scheme under which goats were distributed free as support to rural women, to enhance the business of animal rearing for income, had started yielding positive results.
“As a measure to bring an end to the acute shortage of water, as well as improve healthcare and hygiene, hundreds of boreholes were dug for rural communities through the KDI,’’ he added.