As part of measures aimed at boosting local economy, the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has approved and distributed N150 million special business grants for small and medium entrepreneurs and traders in the Gwoza Local Government Area of the state.
He indicated that while N100 milliom was allocated to small and medium entrepreneurs living within Gwoza town, N50 million was allocated to similar traders in Fulka, Izge and Limankara towns under the same LGA.
Zulum said that depending on the sizes of their businesses, the jobs created and capacity to upset loans, six traders received N1m each, 38 traders received N500,000 each, 250 others received N250,000 each, 404 others received N100,000 each and another 732 traders got N30,000 each.
Speaking yesterday during the event, the governor explained that the soft loans and grants to small and medium scale traders with refundable period of four years was meant to resuscitate businesses and livelihoods destroyed by the Boko Haram insurgents in communities of Gwoza.
Zulum hinted that any beneficiary that was able to repay 50% of the loans within record time would enjoy waver of the balance of 50%, while those who deliberately fail to repay within the dateline would be made to repay 100% of what they received as loans and grants.
Meanwhile, the governor also facilitated the distribution of food items to no fewer than 27,000 vulnerable residents of Gwoza local government during Zulum’s ongoing two-day humanitarian trip which started on Friday.
11,000 male residents received food during Saturday’s distribution, while 16,000 female residents are scheduled to receive similar food on Sunday (today). Before embarking on his trip, Zulum had deployed dozens of trailers loaded with varieties of food items to Gwoza, for which he is directly supervising its distribution.
Also, before reaching Gwoza on Friday, the governor commissioned a 50-bed capacity healthcare centre in Kawuri town of Konduga Local Government Area in central part of Borno state.
The facility was expected to increase access to public healthcare for villagers in Kawuri, one of the communities where internally displaced persons have been resettled in more than 500 newly built resettlement houses.