OVER 3,000 small and medium scale businesses in Kebbi State are to receive millions of naira from the federal government as grants under a post-coronavirus stimulus plan aimed at enhancing their business activities.
In a unique programme which critics will claim is lopsided, the attorney-general of the federation Mallam Abubakar Malami, said that many small and medium scale business owners suffered losses due to the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, hence, the need to intervene with grants and soft loans to boost their businesses and enhance their productivity. His spokesman Dr Umar Gwandu, revealed this at the opening ceremony for the disbursement of N2bn loan facilities to 549 entrepreneurs in Kebbi, under the federal government’s Agri-business Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS).
Mallam Malami said: “Each of the entrepreneurs will receive an amount ranging from N1m to N5m under the scheme. Also, as a measure to bring an end to the acute shortage of water, as well as improve healthcare and hygiene, hundreds of boreholes were dug for rural communities.”
According to the minister, 200 wheelchairs would be distributed to people living with disabilities in Birnin-Kebbi, the Kebbi State capital during the first week of January, 2021. It is expected that all this will be funded by the federal government, although it is not clear under what scheme.
One of the poorest states in Nigeria, Kebbi has the lowest internally generated revenue in the northwest geo-political zone and the second lowest in the country, raising just N4.9bn ($12.8m) locally. Of late, the state has tried to redress this by turning to rice farming and opening a procession mill.