Kwara State Executive Council has approved a programme to empower at least 30,000 female petty traders with a grant of N20,000 each over the next six months — a social investment measure modelled after a World Bank initiative.
In a presentation to the council on Wednesday, Secretary to the Kwara State Government Prof. Mamman Saba Jubril said the programme would be implemented under the Kwara State Social Investment Programme while beneficiaries would cut across the 16 local government areas of the state.
He said: “For stimulation of micro, small and medium scale locally-owned businesses, the agency (KWASSIP) deems it necessary to empower the women within the 16 LGAs of Kwara State.
“This is another dimension towards ensuring that the women who ordinarily do not have access to financial facility are availed with financial support through the programme,” according to Jubril.
“It may interest council to note that this programme being domesticated and to be funded by the State Government is a replica of the World Bank project (Nigeria for Women Project). However, the state has applied to the World Bank to include Kwara State among the beneficiary states in Nigeria in order to complement the efforts of the state government.”
For efficiency, transparency and easy disbursement to all the 193 wards in the State, Jubril said the government will partner with MTN Nigeria (Mobile Money, MoMo) Service provider, which has over 5,000 payment agents.
He said the programme will gulp N658m with huge benefits on the microeconomic sector in the state.
Council members took turns to commend the initiative which they said would help to grow small businesses and tackle extreme poverty.
The council meeting was chaired by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, who said the administration remains committed to the plight of the downtrodden, including deepening financial inclusion.
KWASSIP, the implementing agency, has carried out similar social safety programme, including Owo Isowo, Owo Arugbo, and Kwapreneur which have benefitted over 100,000 people in the last two years alone.
A recent social impact assessment report on KWASSIP showed no less than 90% of the beneficiaries affirming the programme to be of huge impacts to them, according to Social Innovation and Research Institute and Northeast Humanitarian Innovation Hub.
A military research group had earlier in March, 2022 made similar conclusions on the state’s social safety programme, saying the KWASSIP could lift at least 50,000 people out of extreme poverty within the next five years.