Gov. Gboyega Oyetola of Osun, on Thursday, said the sum of N100 million has been set aside to boost Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) development in the state.
Oyetola said his administration had adopted a proactive strategy to stimulate the state’s economy adversely affected by the novel COVID-19 pandemic.
The governor spoke at the graduation ceremony of the first batch of the participants of the post COVID-19 Economic Strategy Pilot Training Programme in Osogbo.
He said each of the trainees under the programme would have access to N100,000 as a start-up loans.
Oyetola said the training programme was designed to generate 15,000 direct and indirect sustainable job opportunities annually.
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The governror also said that the training programme was a swift response to the challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
Oyetola urged the beneficiaries to utilise the skills and knowledge acquired in the course of the programme positively to enable them compete favourably in the industrial and commercial sectors.
“As pioneer graduates of this scheme, you are our voice to your successors that this programme is useful and doable.
“You are our proof that entrepreneurship is a worthy solution to youth unemployment and poverty.
“You are our strength that will lay a solid foundation for a sustainable, life-transforming and destiny-changing programme that will join other proactive initiatives to deliver the prosperous Osun that we seek,” the governor said.
According to him, under the skills upgrade training programme, the state government was able to re-focus, re-engineer and expand the scope, knowledge and relevance of artisans.
He added that the government was able to make people who lost their jobs during the pandemic relevant “under the new normal orchestrated by COVID-19”.
In his remarks, Dr Bode Olaonipekun, Commissioner for Commerce, Industries, Cooperatives and Empowerment, said 2, 000 participants were trained and empowered with startup loans to support their businesses.
Also, the Executive Director, Micro Enterprise, Bank of Industry, Mrs Toyin Adeniji, commended Oyetola for building a virile and healthy economy for the state.