Ministry to partner foundation to drive FG programmes to underserved Nigerians

OFFICIALS OF OYAKHILOME BELLO FOUNDATION IN A MEETING WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF THE MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY, TRADE AND INVESTMENT ON FRIDAY IN ABUJA

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has promised to collaborate with Oyakhilome Bello Foundation to drive some of its programs to the grassroots, especially to Nigerians in underserved areas.

Mrs Popoola Abimbola, Chief Industrial Officer of the ministry gave the assurance on Friday in Abuja, when the foundation visited the ministry to present its proposal on how to positively impact less privileged Nigerians.

Abimbola, who represented the ministry’s Director of the Industrial Development Department, said the ministry was already carrying out capacity building in the country’s six geopolitical zones.

“You are in the right place, and we applaud your initiative and will be ready to work with you,” she said.

She said the Federal Government under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, was rolling out two initiatives: the Presidential Conditional Grant Programme and the Presidential Palliative Loan Programme.

Abimbola added that the initiatives under the ministry’s Nano programme were aimed at alleviating the effects of the fuel subsidy removal on Nigerians.

She explained that under the initiative, beneficiaries would access business grants and loans from N50,000 up to N1 million and N1 billion as the case may be.

She said that the targeted beneficiaries were women and youths, 70 per cent, people with disabilities, 10 per cent, senior citizens, five per cent while the remaining 15 per cent would be distributed to other demographics.

Abimbola advised eligible applicants to visit the website: fedgrantandloan.gov.ng and click ‘apply for grant.’

Mr Olaniyin Ilori, National Coordinator of Oyakhilome Bello Foundation earlier said the foundation had been reaching out to the less privileged within its capacity.

He added that the foundation, however, needed to collaborate with government ministries, agencies, and public-spirited individuals to be able to do more.

He said it was regrettable that while the Federal Government had put in place policies and programmes to better the lots of most Nigerians, especially the less privileged, such policies and programmes were not known to the people.

He attributed the development to a lack of adequate information and sensitisation.

Ilori said though the government had good intentions for the people, especially about grants and loans to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) the foundation’s findings showed that they lacked the knowledge of such facilities.

According to him, most of the SMEs in the grassroots and underserved areas in the country are not aware of government’s facilities, and so, they believe that it does not care for them.

This, he said, was especially with regards to accessing government loans to boost their businesses.

“Most Nigerians accuse the government ignorantly of not caring because they are not aware of its efforts.

“There is a communication gap, and this is where as a foundation, we want to come in to help propagate government’s policies and programs by reaching out to people at the grassroots.

Mr Oyakhilome Bello, founder of the foundation stressed that it was committed to the betterment of the society in line with the Renewed Hope agenda of President Bola Tinubu.

Bello, who is the National Youth President of the All Progressives Congress (APC) United States of America chapter, said the foundation was focusing on health, education, youth empowerment, and wealth creation for women, youths, and the less privileged.

“We have been actively involved in various community-driven programmes, including initiatives to promote health counselling, women and youth development among the vulnerable population,” Bello said. (https://newsatlarge.ng)

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