Borno state governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, has flagged off the second phase of his administration’s N1 billion economic support for small business owners.
This new phase will support small and medium business owners in three local government areas, Zulum said on Friday during a visit to Biu Local Government Area.
The sum of N1 billion naira had been earmarked for disbursement to about 5000 entrepreneurs from the Local Government Areas of Biu, Gwoza, Ngala, Monguno, Mobbar and Maiduguri Metropolitan Council. This was achievable with support from the Bank of Industry that provided an interest-free loan benefit.
Zulum pointed out that any beneficiary that can pay 50 per cent of the amount received within three years will enjoy a waiver of the remaining half.
The Borno state government also distributed over 80 commercial vehicles and tricycles to boost the standard of living of beneficiaries.
The governor warned against political thuggery in Biu and urged security forces to arrest anyone terrorising the residents and identifying with ‘ECOMOG,’ an outlawed group of political thugs, as from 6 am on Jan. 23, 2020. He further cautioned that politicians sponsoring criminals would “be dealt with accordingly.”
In 2019, Zulum had launched a ‘cash for sanitation’ programme which most members of ECOMOG benefited from. Earlier this month, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) endorsed the social protection model introduced in enforcing the ban on political thuggery in the state.
In December 2020, it was reported that the governor shared over N150 million among hundreds of small and medium entrepreneurs, with each business receiving N50,000. The donations are part of his administration’s measures to boost economic growth and stimulate the local economy.
Zulum noted that an aspect of his campaign agenda was to empower businesses in the state.
“We want to empower them, you are aware that many of our people have completely lost their means of livelihood as a result of the insurgency,” he had told reporters.
“Empowerment is one of the items in our 10-pact agenda, so in fulfilment of our campaign promises, we have to empower our people so that they can be gainfully self-employed. I appeal to the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the little we have given them so that it can grow and make some impact.”