Governor Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti State has empowered more than 150 residents of the state, enabling them to establish their own businesses and achieve self-reliance.

Governor Oyebanji, through his transformative Ojuse Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji Initiative, reaffirmed his dedication to enhancing the welfare of the people of Ekiti, aiming to combat poverty and foster a more inclusive and equitable society.

The Governor, represented by his Senior Special Assistant, Mrs. Sola Abe, addressed the audience in Ado Ekiti on Friday during the first anniversary of the Ojuse BAO Initiative. During the event, 56 financially disadvantaged residents were empowered with the necessary resources to improve their lives.

As part of the monthly empowerment program, individuals in need across the 16 local government areas are encouraged to submit requests to the governor outlining their specific needs. Governor Oyebanji, through appropriate channels, thoroughly evaluates these requests to ensure their authenticity and determine the appropriate support to provide.

He said, “We have over 150 beneficiaries so far. But for this month, we have 56 persons that benefitted. We have students who benefitted, we have start-ups, those who intend to start their businesses and we have also those who requested tools to trade with who benefitted from this programme.

Abe, who said that requests for December 2023 and January 2024 would be attended to in next month’s edition, urged would-be beneficiaries to exercise patience, saying, “The requests before us are enormous and we are attending to them with due diligence.

“Governor Oyebanji has ensured that he reduced the level of poverty in the land. He is willing to transform more lives. Aside from other palliatives being given by different sectors of government in the state, this is his initiative and it has been going on for a year,” he said.

Rt. Hon. Taiwo Olatunbosun, the State Commissioner for Information, urged the beneficiaries to utilize the tools and equipment received effectively.

He commended Governor Oyebanji for his unwavering dedication to supporting vulnerable members of society through the monthly empowerment program.

The commissioner said that the initiative served as “a testament to Governor Oyebanji’s unwavering dedication to uplifting the lives of the less privileged and building a brighter future for all residents of Ekiti State”.

Mrs Mary Oso-Omotoso, Director General, Community Communications, who told the beneficiaries that it was not a national cake, said, “Rather it is an opportunity to develop. This initiative is financed from the governor’s salary”.

The 56 beneficiaries for the March edition including indigent students who could not pay their school fees, artisans who intend to start their trades and businesses and those who needed equipment for their businesses had written to the governor about their plight, which was redressed under the initiative.

Recall that in December last year, the Ojuse BAO Initiative disbursed N20m in cash and working equipment including sewing machines, salon gadgets and refrigerators to 48 beneficiaries to provide them with sustainable livelihoods.

The monthly Ojuse BAO Initiative had among others, in April last year donated a cassava grinding machine to Mr Owolabi Babatunde to revitalize his business and as well elevate the livelihoods of his employees just as testimonies from beneficiaries over the months show that the initiative was making impacts in the people’s lives.

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