THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele, has commended the Osun State government for formulating people-friendly policies that are particularly geared towards the empowerment of women in the state.
The apex bank’s governor made this remarks in the state capital, Osogbo at the official ceremony for the disbursement of N2 billion CBN Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Fund and the distribution of second batch of 22 mini-buses some transport operators in the state.
The CBN Governor, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Development and Finance, Paul Nduka Eluowe, affirmed that the polices had clearly set the government apart as one the few administrations in the country that place emphasis on women empowerment and genuinely backed it up with funds and all the necessary technical assistance raised the state to
The scheme is a partnership with the CBN, under the Bank’s N220 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund.
Elumelu while stressing that Small and Medium Scale Enterprises are essential ingredients of growth for any serious developing country, commended the governor for formulating policies and programmes that have economically and financially empowered the people of the state.
The CBN boss charged the governor to ensure that 60 percent of the 2billion Naira given to the state go to women and 2 percent to physically challenged people in the state.
He said: “I am overwhelmed by the numbers of people present at this event, I am not surprised that the majority of the people in attendance are women this is in tandem with the CBN beliefs that women are supposed to be empowered to unleash their potentials,”
The state governor Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, in his address titled “Marching onto Greater Development Heights”, said his determination to drive the state to a prosperous height was borne out of genuine commitment to take Osun to the height of socio-economic and industrial development.
Aregbesola held that his administration is conscious of the fact that the success of any development enterprise was dependent upon the active involvement and participation of the people.
He pointed out that Osun, with carefully thought-out policies, programmes, conscious mobilisation and proper organisation of the people, nothing can stand in the way of its development.
The governor added that the most effective ways of making people the driving agents of development is to economically and financially empower them, and then allow them to handle the rest.
According to Aregbesola “We thus decided to come up with various economic empowerment schemes in order to give our people the economic wherewithal and the financial enablement to make them job-creators and wealth generators in a manner that will be beneficial to all and sundry.
“In order for the programmes to have the widest coverage for maximum outcomes, we have decided to spread the net to include the people in the lower rung of the socio-economic ladder – the small traders, the market women, the artisans, the transporters, the small-holder farmer, and the craftsmen and women among others.
“It is for this reason that we have established the Osun Micro-Credit Agency which was officially inaugurated on July 9, 2014.
“It was aimed at ensuring easy access to credit facilities by operators of micro, small and medium scale enterprises, particularly those in the informal sector of Osun economy”.
The state Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Wale Bolorunduro, disclosed that Osun was the first state in Nigeria to benefit a sum of N2billion for the CBN to improve micro, small and medium enterprises, affirming the money was a product of financial engineering.
He maintained that 50 per cent of the money is expected to be used for agriculture and commerce.
“Osun is the first state to have assessed and secured the N2bn loan for Central Bank of Nigeria for the purpose of development.