Osun First Lady, Mrs Kafayat Oyetola, has commended the philanthropic gesture of Olori Janet Afolabi, Wife of Oba Afolabi, for providing market women with interest-free loans in Apomu town.
Olori Afolabi is a CNN award winning journalist who has passion for women development.
She gave out the interest-free loan to 40 shortlisted market women on Monday through the Apomu Women Cooperative Limited at the Apomu town.
Speaking at the event, Mrs Oyetola, commended her effort at ensuring the take off of the project, expressing optimism that the move would assist the beneficiaries in no great measure.
“I have no doubt that it will help to lift many women and homes out of poverty and enhance their standard of living. I therefore call on other communities in the state which may not have this type of economic development mechanism to emulate Apomu women by floating their own co-operative bodies. I am delighted to have attended the unveiling of the co-operative because the importance of women cooperative at this period cannot be over emphasized”.
Earlier in her address, the initiator said she initiated the project because, “after COVID-19 lockdown many women were unable to resume their trading businesses as many of them had spent their capital during the stay at home orders. A lot of them tried to borrow money from families, friends and neighbours, but unsuccessful. but it was very difficult. I came up with Apomu Women Cooperative as my flagship empowerment project to give interest free loans to market women to be paid back over five months. The women were randomly selected, shortlisted and interviewed by experts from LEAD Transformation Initiative. The first batch of the beneficiaries were announced at the event”.
She said 40 beneficiaries were selected in the first batch of the empowerment scheme, received between N25,000 and N30,000, depending on the nature of their business.
She said the scheme will continue as a monthly revolving loan which has been agreed upon by the parties.
The event was attended by women leaders including the wife of the deputy governor, commissioner and party leaders.
No fewer than 500 women attended the programme.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke at the occasion, commended the organisers, describing the initiative as an answer to prayers.
The Iyaloja of Apomuland, who is also the market women leader, commended the initiator of the programme, which she said was the first of it’s kind in the town.
Apomu is the headquarters of Isokan local government area and one of the earliest towns that made up the old OYO Empire founded in 16th Century.
Olori Janet Afolabi is the wife of the Alapomu of Apomuland, HRM, Oba Kayode Afolabi.