The government of Bayelsa State in Nigeria has provided financial grants to 840 small business operators in an effort to support indigenous SMEs and empower women and youths in the region. Each beneficiary received a N200,000 grant to strengthen their businesses. The grants were distributed as part of the government’s Women and Youth Empowerment Programme, with equal representation from all political wards in the state. The initiative aims to encourage entrepreneurship and boost the state’s economy, creating more opportunities for its residents. The Bayelsa State Government’s support aligns with the broader advocacy for youth and women empowerment in Nigeria.
In the South-South region of Nigeria, a total of 840 small business operators in Bayelsa State have benefited from the State Government’s initiative aimed at empowering women and youths in the State.
This is in fulfillment of the government’s promise to support indigenous Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the State.
On Friday, the State Government under the auspices of Governor Douye Diri concluded the disbursement of N168m grant to a total of 840 beneficiaries across the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the beneficiaries received N200,000 grant each to strengthen their businesses.
This was also in partial fulfillment of the promises made on behalf of the government by the state’s Commissioner for Women, Children Affairs and Empowerment, Mrs. Faith Opuene.
Mrs. Opuene had in July 2022 flagged off the first phase of beneficiaries from Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, where she said the state Governor, Douye Diri, had decided to continue supporting small businesses until the end of his tenure.
At the flag-off, Opuene said the scheme was designed to enable the beneficiaries to grow and expand their businesses to dominate the economy, and it would maintain a monthly disbursement of N200,000 each to 210 beneficiaries of the government’s Women and Youth Empowerment Program in Yenagoa.
Relatedly, the commissioner, while speaking at the presentation of the final phase of the grant on Friday, said that the gesture was inspired by the need to encourage entrepreneurship among the people.
Opuene, in her speech, disclosed that among the beneficiaries were two males and two females, and they were selected from each of the 105 political wards in all eight local government areas of the state.
This was done to ensure equal representation of all the wards while prioritizing equity, fairness, and transparency in the grant’s disbursement.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, a fish dealer named Emmanuel Inipanmo praised the motive behind the initiative by the Diri-led administration. He expressed gratitude for the support while noting that growth was imminent.
The gospel of youth and women empowerment in Nigeria has been a major concern for many over the last few years and has continued to thrive in the country’s dwindling economy as employment opportunities have become nearly impossible to come by unless individuals and groups create opportunities for themselves.
Social media has played a vital role in bringing this cause to life as several individuals, groups, and organizations utilize new technological innovations to turn ideas into reality.
Advocacies have also emerged with structures and invaluable platforms where children and women can learn and acquire productive skills, leadership skills, business skills, and more. These all contribute to the forms of empowerment that can be offered to them.
The initiative by the Bayelsa State Government provides financial grants for young men and women operating small businesses in the state, which can help boost the state’s economy and, in turn, create more lucrative opportunities for other indigenes.