The need to focus on youths to address the high level of poverty in the society has been stressed, as an entrepreneur and philanthropist, Engr. Ayotunde Akinola Bally, doled out N200million interest-free loans to 100 youth entrepreneurs in the Ondo State.
The loan which is meant for only youths in Ondo East and Ondo West local government areas will be disbursed to keep them off the streets and become responsible citizens of the country.
Bally, who is the Managing Director of Olivermead Ltd in the United Kingdom, disclosed this in Akure, the Ondo State capital during a media parley.
According to him, the loan will be disbursed on August 21, 2021, saying that a minimum of N100,000 and maximum of N200,000 will be given out to beneficiaries.
He added that a group of beneficiaries with similar business plans could be given as high as N1million.
“N200 million will be given to 100 youths over 16 to 20 months. I am a businessman and it doesn’t make sense to me to give somebody N20,000 or N50,000. What can you achieve with that?
“But with N100,000 to N200,000, you can start something. We can also pair people with the same interest of entrepreneurial focus and give them N1million,” he stated.
Bally, who is also the chief executive officer of Arvo Finance, a fintech aid organisation that gives soft loans to people without collateral, added that he wanted to raise 1,000 successful entrepreneurs in Ondo kingdom.
He explained that beneficiaries, who must be residents in the communities, would bring guarantors that would make good recommendations on them.
The businessman further stated that the criteria to benefit from the gesture include good knowledge of a business and readiness to be taught.
“Our target is not graduates. I don’t believe that you need a degree or certificate to be a good business person but what you need to have is a good understanding of how a business is run and you must be teachable.
“Once every month, I will be having a session with all the beneficiaries,” he added.
Asked if he would be running for a political position, Bally replied that he did not belong to any political party but was geared to harness human resources for the development of the society.
“I don’t belong to any political party for now. However, I think we should all get involved in the political process of the country. So for me, I will get involved in politics, however, I’m not doing all these because of politics.
“I have been a successful businessman and politics cannot add to me but even take from me. I have been a regional director of a charity organisation in East Africa. It has been part of me to help people and I’m a problem solver.
“If the patriotic people with conscience and genuine love for people don’t get involved in politics, they will keep their affairs in the hands of looters,” he stated.