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Bayelsa begins empowerment scheme for small business owners


From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

The Bayelsa State Government has commenced the Women and Youths Empowerment Programme for Bayelsans across the 105 wards in the state.

Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs Mrs Faith Orubo Opuene, while flagging off the first phase of beneficiaries from Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, said Governor Douye Diri had after disbursement of funds for small businesses during the second anniversary of his association has decided to continue till the end of his tenure.

Opuene, who disclosed that the empowerment scheme of N200,000 each would cover 210 men and women equally across the 105 wards, noted that it is targeted at those with small businesses to grow the local economy.

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“The governor believes this is a laudable programme that must be sustained. In Bayelsa our economy is not in our hands we need to encourage our people to control the local economy by going into business.

“This is a prosperous government and since the governor came in he has been doing projects, now he said it is time to empower the people in small-scale business. The empowerment scheme would continue until the day he leaves office.

“This scheme is for those already in business, small business, petty trading, salon, tailoring, Mama put etc. By giving them this money is to grow their markets, especially those in the grassroots.”

Mrs Opuene said the committee in charge of the disbursement of the funds have the records of the beneficiaries and at the appropriate time, it would go round to check how they are using the funds.

Also speaking, a member of the committee and Commissioner for Education, Dr Gentle Emelah, said encouraging the entrepreneurship spirit is the overriding factor behind the establishment of the scheme.

“The rationale is to ensure Bayelsans participate in growing the local economy. Governor Diri initiated this to encourage entrepreneurship to grow the local economy. This scheme would encourage the growth of small-scale businesses. As a directive we would be doing this until his tenure ends,” he said.

One of the beneficiaries, a person living with a disability, Mr Titity Tubokeyi, commended the Diri administration for the gesture noting that he is going to invest the money in the business.

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