Micro-Credit Scheme Thrills Deltans in Lagos


Joy coursed through Ajegunle, a sprawling Lagos suburb, as 230 residents of Delta State origin got soft loans to boost their small-scale businesses. The facility was provided by the Delta State Micro-Credit Programme (DMCP), the loan Certificates handed out at a Navy base located in the area.
The service enlivened the beneficiaries called clients operating in 23 cluster-groups. In songs and dance, they expressed their joy. Firewood sellers hailed Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and the DMCP, coordinated by the state Ministry for Poverty Alleviation. Kerosene marketers spoke of an anticipated boost in their business. The soft drinks group thanked the governor and the Commissioner for Poverty Alleviation, Dr Antonia Ashiedu who presented the loan certificates to the clients. The credit facility is not like the regular bank loan. Accessed through micro-finance banks, it has no interest rate, which removes the usual repayment difficulties which attend other loans. Yet, perhaps the greatest thing about the DMCP credit lifeline is that it helps to open up the clients' business opportunities and boost their profit profile. It has revolutionised small businesses in the state, some going on to become cottage industries. The Ajegunle loan disbursement has expanded and extended the jobs scheme beyond borders. Presenting the loan certificates, Dr Ashiedu said Governor Uduaghan is showing the true meaning of democracy by caring for Deltans living in other states of the federation. The commissioner also emphasised the need for every Deltan, irrespective of where they live, to be good ambassadors of Delta State. "My happiness is that the governor of Delta State Dr. Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan is leading by example and that is how it should be - anywhere you are, your government should care for you especially if you are a good ambassador of the state; that is what we've come to do in Ajegunle, Lagos State today". Comrade Joseph Evah, a leader in the Niger Delta, who facilitated the event, also commended Governor Uduaghan for showing love and care for his people in Ajegunle. He pointed out that Lagos State has the highest number of Deltans living outside Delta State, and that consequently there are some who are also economically weak. He called on other state governors to emulate Dr Uduaghan and empower their people living outside their states of origin as that is a sign of good leadership. He said: "For Governor Uduaghan to do this for us, it shows that he loves his people living outside Delta State. By the time every governor will do the same to their people, Nigeria will be a better place. It shows we love ourselves in Niger Delta. The Managing Director, Bank of Industry Microfinance Bank Ltd where the money will be accessed, Mr. Kelvin Iyamu thanked the state government for finding the bank worthy, saying that the award-winning programme aimed at improving the living standard of the economically weak persons in the society is a grassroots-oriented programme. "The Delta State government is improving the living standard of Deltans in Nigeria and I believe it is a nice and good way to show democratic leadership". The DMCP clients, who could not hide their joy, appreciated Governor Uduaghan for remembering them in Ajegunle and promised to pay back the loan on time to access bigger loans. The clients thronged the venue with their various products, happy to be associated with the micro-credit scheme. A firewood seller, Helen, thanked the governor for coming to their aid. "Ah!" she exclaimed, "we thank our governor so much. Now me and my group, we will order for more firewood and supply to others; you see that means more money for us". Another client, Omonigho, a kerosene seller, said: "My governor has demonstrated why he is the best in empowerment programmes. Look at us in Ajegunle, being empowered outside Delta State. He came to us oh! It is a dream come true for us; for my group we can now buy a tanker of kerosene. God bless you for us".


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