By Dayo Johnson
AKURE—ONDO State government has disbursed over N550 million loans to 1,460 workers in the Local Government Service as part of its commitment to the promotion of the welfare of its workforce.
This came as the government debunked allegation that there was lopsidedness in the disbursement of the N1.2billion Federal Government’s agricultural loans to farmers in the state.
Governor Olusegun Mimiko, while presenting the cheques to beneficiaries, said the loans would attract a subsidized interest rate of 10 per cent and its repayment spread over the next 60 months, starting from November this year.
The loans would be usedby the workers to purchase vehicles, motorcycles and houses.
Speaking through the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Rotimi Adelola, the governor appealed to the beneficiaries “to utilize the money productively and avoid conspicuous consumption that can turn the loan into a ‘poisonous debt trap’ rather than ‘a wealth tonic.
“Since the public service remains the main engine or tool for achieving the objective of any government, hence the commitment of our government to the improvement of the welfare of the workforce. Perhaps the greatest thing that has happened to the public service in Ondo State is the conscious re-service delivery. And we are delighted by the gradual and steady transformation and re-patterning of the attitude and work habits of public servants in the state.”
Dismissing allegation of lopsidedness in the disbursement of the N1.2billion Federal Government agricultural loans to farmers in the state, the Ministry of Agriculture through the Information Officer, Mrs Abooluwa Famakinwa, said the first batch of beneficiaries of the N1billion loan got over N310million loans while the second batch was being prepared.
Speaking on another N200million , the Information Officer said that it was not a loan as insinuated by the farmers.
According to her the money which was in this year’s budget was meant for the purchase of agricultural inputs like fertilizer, seedlings and agrochemicals which were distributed to farmers at subsidized rate.
The farmers, according to Chief Folashade Ogunsusi who is the Iyalaje of Alayere in Akure North local government area of the state, only saw the disbursement of the loans on their television as the loan did not get to the real farmers who supposed to be the original beneficiaries.
According to her, the people in the communities decided to organize themselves into cooperative societies when the loan of the government was not forthcoming.