The Bayelsa State government has empowered 420 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the state with business grants of N200,000 each to expand their businesses and boost the local economy in the state.
The Commissioner for Women, Children Affairs, Empowerment and Social Development, Mrs Faith Opuene, during the presentation to beneficiaries in Yenagoa, the state capital, said the state government had already spent over N6 billion to encourage small-scale businesses and to revive the local economy across the state in the last one and half years.
She stated that the empowerment programme, which started in February 2022, had empowered 3,150 business owners in the state.
She said the focus was that the governor wanted to discourage laziness and the idea of waiting for white-collar jobs when the people could be self-reliant by engaging in business and gradually become employers of labour.
She said, “The empowerment is for all Bayelsans, whether APC, PDP or any other political parties so that before Governor (Duoye) Diri’s tenure ends, we will be able to own chains of businesses in Bayelsa.
“As a businessman, don’t misuse the money by giving it to your girlfriends or spending it anyhow. And the women should not use the money to buy wrappers, it’s strictly to enhance your businesses. When you use the money well, it multiplies.”