Ogun State Government yesterday said it would soon commence the first phase payment of the N1billion operational grant to Micro and Small Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) operators selected across the 20 local government areas of the state.
The State Commissioner for Finance and Chief Economic Adviser, Mr. Dapo Okubadejo, disclosed this at a stakeholders’ engagement in Abeokuta, noting the World Bank-funded grant was to facilitate recovery and enhance capabilities of MSEs for employment retention and job creation in the post COVID-19 era.
Okubadejo stated that over 3,500 successful micro and small business applicants would get a maximum of 100 and 350 thousand naira respectively, under the Ogun State COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (OG-CARES) programme.
While assuring the state that the selection process would be transparent and fair, the commissioner added that priority would be given to women, youths and persons living with disabilities.
He said: “We will ensure that all the beneficiaries are carefully selected and they represent a broader spectrum of all our people that have been specifically affected. All have been affected, but some are more affected. So, we are targeting those people particularly.”
Okubadejo, who is also the chairman of the Steering Committee of OG-CARES, the COVID-19 ripple effect, which is still being felt and has affected many businesses, particularly small and micro enterprises, not only in the state but also around the worls was what prompted the state government’s intervention.
He stated that there will be ongoing verification by independent agents following payout in order to make sure that recipients of the grant use it wisely and maintain the viability of their businesses.