As part of its effort to ensure financial independence for the people of the state, Kwara State Government has distributed working tools, other forms of equipment and loans worth N50 million to 35 artisan groups comprising 500 members.
Speaking during the distribution of the working tools at the first anniversary of Kwara State Artisans Congress, the state Governor, Dr. Abdul Fattah Ahmed, said the initiative was to empower artisans and ensure that their potentials as major players in the economy of the state is enhanced.
Governor Ahmed said the N50 million intervention was in addition to the N100 million disbursed to the Artisan Congress when it was formed last year, adding that other forms of empowerment initiatives were in the pipeline for the benefits of the artisans.
On the significance of the empowerment, the governor said, since each of the 500 artisans would have at least two employees about 1,500 Kwarans were expected to benefit from the scheme.
The governor expressed satisfaction that the administration’s “N250 million revolving micro-credit scheme launched in 2012 has grown to N700 million and successfully empowered 48,000 small business owners in the process.”
He noted that 47 artisan groups and 100 transporters have benefitted from the funds while another set of 170 farmers now have thriving agribusiness following the disbursement of N215 million in micro-credit under off taker demand driven scheme.
The President of the Kwara State Artisans’ Congress, Alhaji Abdullahi Lanky in his address at the occasion said the formation of the Artisans’ Congress has enabled artisans in the state to work with unity of purpose.
Alhaji Lanky said the master trainer policy of the state government and the establishment of the City and Guild of London moderated International Vocational Centre in Ajase-Ipo as well as the various loan facilities place artisans in vantage position to drive economic development and generate vast employment opportunities in the state.