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Governor Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti State has taken steps to alleviate poverty among the state’s residents by empowering another set of 48 indigent citizens with cash and material support totaling N20 million.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor, Governor’s Office, Mrs Sola Abe, disbursed the fund on behalf of Governor Oyebanji on Wednesday at the Conference Hall of the Governor’s office, Ado-Ekiti.

The SSA said the intervention was in line with the fulfillment of Governor Oyebanji’s campaign promises of shared prosperity and reduction of poverty among the populace.

The Governor’s side clarified that the intervention encompassed various forms of support, including the payment of school fees, settling medical bills, and expanding businesses by providing necessary equipment, among other forms of assistance.

Mrs. Abe emphasized that Governor Oyebanji has a strong commitment to assisting the less privileged, a passion he carried even before assuming office. She revealed that the Governor consistently allocates a specific amount from his personal purse every month for this noble cause.

This, according to her, is a way of reaching out and rendering a helping hand to the needy indigenes that are not employed but have some vocational skills.

She charged all the beneficiaries to spend the money and utilize the equipment judiciously, adding that what they all requested for were given to them without any reduction.

Mrs Abe also stated that a monitoring team would visit them regularly to know how they are faring and see that they are using the money and the equipment for the purpose for which they were given.

Among the beneficiaries of the largesse were tailors, drycleaners, traders and hairdresser who were given full equipment to start or boost their businesses.

On modalities for disbursement, the Governor’s aide said, “We receive request from indigenes asking for assistance and it varies from tuition, medicals or expansion of businesses, so we do our investigation, market survey, verify claims and disburse.

“We have 48 beneficiaries today and the mode of selecting them is that they write letter to the Governor and he charges them to our office, we then call the applicants, ask questions and confirm if they actually learn the trades. We also ask if they are already in the business or they want to start afresh before we eventually verify their claims.

“March next year will make it a year that we have started the programme, so, we will assess how the programme has fared in one year by going out to monitor activities of beneficiaries to be sure that its actually meeting the needs and plugging all holes in homes. The only criteria we ask for is that you must be from Ekiti. No political colouration.

“This is more of the Governor’s personal project, this is what he is doing himself to ensure he reach out to people in his own way. In fact, he has been doing this before he became Governor. And I think people now know about it, so the volume of requests that come to him has become enormous. he understands the impact this is having on the people, he understands the hardship going on with the people. This is own way of helping the people from his own personal purse.” She added.

Some of the beneficiaries including Mr Abiodun Olatoye, Mrs Yemi Adefemi and Miss Odunayo Obafemi spoke glowingly about the love Governor Oyebanji has for the less-privileged in the state and prayed that God would continue to bless him.

Mr Abiodun Olatoye, a Barber said he just wrote for assistance from the Governor and was surprised to receive a call to come to Governor’s office to receive equipment he needed for his business and money to rent a shop.

He expressed appreciation to the Governor for making life easy for him as he did not have any helper who could assist him get a shop and purchase equipment for him.

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