No fewer than 5,040 petty traders and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Bayelsa State have benefitted from the state government-sponsored empowerment and business expansion programme initiated by the Governor Douye Diri.
Tagged: “Women and Youths Empowerment Programme”, the scheme is expected to record 210 beneficiaries monthly from two wards each to expand their trades/businesses.
The commissioner for information, orientation and strategy, Hon. Ayiba Duba, told newsmen in Yenagoa, the state capital that the programme is designed to encourage small-scale business owners and artisans to enlarge their businesses and employ more hands which in turn reduce unemployment.
Duba also noted that though the selection of beneficiaries was done without political consideration and said the decision by Diri to initiate the programme was to encourage petty traders, business owners and artisans to show that the administration is responsible and responsive to the yearnings of the people.
Also, the commissioner for education, Hon. Gentle Emelah, said the programme is to boost the local economy of the state and ensure Bayelsans own our local.
He said, “Governor Diri has assured business owners that his administration will empower two business owners per ward with N200,000 across the eight local government areas every month, till the end of his first tenure”.
Earlier, the commissioner for women, children affairs, empowerment and social development, Faith Opene, called on the beneficiaries to make good use of the money and own the economy of the state.
Opene said the programme is to encourage those that are already in business across the eight local government area to grow their businesses.
One of the beneficiaries, Ebomotimi Waripamo, a baker, commended the state government for initiating the scheme.