The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), on Monday stated that at least 3,000 owners of Small and Medium Scale Businesses in Kebbi State would benefit from ongoing Federal Government’s COVID-19 grants to enhance their business activities.
Malami, in a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr Umar Gwandu, was quoted as making the disclosure at the opening ceremony for the disbursement of N2 billion loan facilities to 549 entrepreneurs in the state, under the Federal Government’s Agri-business Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS).
A news report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) indicated that the government’s effort to assist the small business owners derived from the findings that they suffered huge losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown that lasted for months.
The minister stated that each of the beneficiary entrepreneurs would get sum of money ranging from one million to five million Naira under the Scheme.
Malami also hinted that 200 wheelchairs would be distributed to People Living with Disability (PWDs) in Birnin-Kebbi during the first week of January 2021.
According to him, in order to increase food production and enhance job creation in Kebbi State, Khadimiyya for Justice and Development Initiatives (KDI), a Non-Governmental Organisation, has facilitated access to soft loans for more than 2,000 cassava farmers and 1,900 rice farmers under the Federal Government’s Anchor Borrowers Programme.
The minister commended the NGO for some social development projects already executed, including Widows and Vulnerable Empowerment Scheme under which goats were distributed free as support to rural women, to enhance livestock business and improve the incomes of farmers in the state.
He also recalled that “as a measure to bring an end to the acute shortage of water, as well as improve healthcare and hygiene, hundreds of boreholes were dug for rural communities through the KDI.’’