By Victor Young
Delta State government has commenced the disbursement of grants-in-aid to artisans in the state as working capital to boost their businesses.
The grants totalling N115 million is being disbursed to over 2,300 artisans across the 25 local government areas of the state, Executive Secretary, Delta State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency, DSMSMEDA, Mrs Shimite Bello, has said.
The target beneficiaries, according to Bello, include members of Welders Association, Fashion Designers Association, Barbers Association as well as Hair Dressers Association.
While Barbers Association and Hair Dressers Associations have 750 target beneficiaries each, Welders and Fashion Designers Associations have 300 and 500 target beneficiaries respectively.
Speaking on the development, DSMSMEDA boss noted that of the 2,300 target beneficiaries, over 1,700 of them had received their packages from the disbursement that began a week ago.
According to her, the remaining beneficiaries would be attended to in the next few days, saying: “You will recall that this administration, in the past three and a half years, has been doing a lot of empowerment programmes.
“Recently, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa decided to extend the empowerment programme to artisans in the state. Currently, he is doing what we call ‘Grant-In-Aid’ to artisans, which include Welders Association, Fashion Designers Association, Hair Dressers Association, and Barbers Association.
“You will also recall that we have been taking care of different groups in the state, particularly transporters and butchers associations. Last week, we started dealing with the welders association, fashion designers, barbers association and hairdressers.
“This is the second group of beneficiaries that the state government is giving Grant-In-Aid. The first group was the farmers association who was given grants a few months ago. For this empowerment, the state governor has graciously approved the sum of N115 million.”