Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has announced a monthly empowerment scheme for small-scale businesses across the eight local government areas of the state.
The governor, who disclosed this during an interactive session with secondary school students, women and beneficiaries of the state’s higher education loans scheme in Yenagoa, said the initiative was meant to develop small businesses in order to grow the local economy and generate wealth.
The interaction, according to the Spokesman to the governor, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, was held as part of activities marking the second anniversary of his administration.
Alabrah quoted him as describing the scheme as a sure way of bringing to fruition his prosperity mandate to the doorsteps of the people.
His words: “We want our people to go into business. I hereby direct a monthly empowerment across our state of the number earmarked in all the local government areas. So, every month, we will have new sets of people to be empowered for the rest of our tenure.
“The Commissioner for Finance is directed to set aside the amount worked out on monthly basis for this scheme.
“There was no mistake in tagging this administration “Prosperity Government.” We are bringing prosperity to our doorsteps. As we build roads and bridges, we are equally shifting attention to human roads and human bridges”.
Diri charged pioneer beneficiaries of the empowerment scheme to make good use of the opportunity to eke out a living for themselves, stressing that his government will sustain it till the end.
He appealed to the youths and women to be good examples of the programme by multiplying what is invested in them for business purposes.
In her welcome address, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Child Development, Mrs. Faith Opene, said the 210 initial beneficiaries were carefully selected comprising two each from the 105 wards in the state.
In their separate remarks, beneficiaries of the students loan programme through their representatives, Obah Azibator, from the Federal University, Otuoke, and Stanley Oyinkeprebi of the Niger Delta University, Amassoma, expressed profound gratitude to Diri for alleviating the plight of students in tertiary institutions and their parents through the scheme and helping them to address their academic challenges.