The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has empowered 2,000 indigent residents of Lagos with N40 million as start-up capital for small scale businesses.
The empowerment is being carried out under the “Eko Cares Initiative,” with the theme: “Go Forward-Grow Lagos.”
Under the scheme, each beneficiary gets N20,000 to invest in fast-moving consumer goods so that they can generate quick turnover on their funds and plough such back into the business for higher turnover.
Two hundred and seventeen beneficiaries of the funds, who are part of the 2,000 beneficiaries earmarked for the first phase were at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, in Alausa, Ikeja on Thursday for the disbursement of the funds.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, whose office is in charge of the Eko Cares Initiatives, said through these initiatives, more Lagosians, particularly the less privileged and the vulnerable, were being empowered with access to finance for various micro-businesses and vocations with a view to improving their standards of living and quality of lives.
”Today, as we kick-start this second segment of the disbursement of the financial assistance, we want to ensure that 217 people who are yet to get funds from the 2,000 Lagosians earlier pencilled down in the first phase of the empowerment fund get their money.
”With the funds provided in this scheme, beneficiaries will be exposed to businesses and investment opportunities requiring minimal startups capital. The beneficiaries will be guided on investing in fast-moving consumer goods so that they can generate quick turnover on their funds and plough such back into the business for higher turnover,” she said.
Adebowale added that a number of companies producing fast-moving consumer products had keyed into the programme and appealed to the beneficiaries not to abuse the privilege as successful participants would benefit more from mentorship from the partners who would closely monitor each beneficiary and give progress reports and recommendations towards further empowerment funds from the government.
The Special Adviser said the social inclusion programme was the first of its kind in the state to cover a large number of beneficiaries at a go, adding that the aim of the programme was to empower 6,000 Lagosians, with the first phase covering 2,000 beneficiaries.
She said the impact of the exercise could not be over-emphasized as it would stimulate micro-economic activities, promote a sense of belonging and reduce tension in communities.
Some of the beneficiaries commended the state government for the gesture and promised to utilize the fund for the purpose it was meant for.