– Now we can purchase more goods says beneficiaries .
Small scale Business owners and Artisans comprising of both the Young and Elderly in Abia-North Senatorial District of Abia State had yet another cause to smile, during the 2nd phase commencement of the Orji Kalu Foundation Petty Traders Zero Interest Free Loan Scheme.
The Orji Uzor Kalu Foundation (OUKF), a non-business/political entity, had earlier launched the programme in January 2018 for Petty Traders,Artisans and other Small business Owners in Abia State.
The zero interest financial loans has since become a watershed for petty traders and Artisans for it has continued to boost their businesses.
Last week The 2nd Phase of the scheme was launched in Arochukwu LGA which saw the disbursement of the free interest loans to hundreds of beneficiaries.
Speaking to newsman during the launch of the 2nd Phase in Ohafia Local Government, the Executive Secretary of the Foundation Rev. Mrs .Ola Jemaimah Kalu ( Perm Sec Rtd) outlined the areas covered and the idea of the zero interest loan programme of the Foundation.
She explained that the loan was Repayable over a period of 12 months (with a 2-month moratorium) at zero interest, the small business support is aimed at taking unemployed youths off the streets.
” We have just launched the 2nd Phase of the scheme for this year. Last week we concluded Arochukwu LGA and by our estimation we have reached out to 20 Abia State Electoral Independent Commission (ABSEIC) wards of various local governments as against the initial 18 we did last year. We created 2 additional wards so that more people can benefit.
Today we started from Ohafia LGA and we have distributed the funds to beneficiaries in Uduma , Isi UGU , Ania and Akanu Ukwu , Ohafor, Amibe , Okagbu, Isiama , Umuayanwu and Ebem Oha wards all of which are in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State.
Afterwards we shall proceed to Nkporo and Abriba wards then we take a break and conclude with Isiukwuato , Umunneochi and Bende LGA .
The idea of the fee loan scheme is to empower the petty traders. We are working in line with the United Nation’s Obejective of eradicating poverty by 2030.
The OUK Foundation apart being registered with the Copoarate Affairs Commission (CAC ) also holds a consultative status with the ECOSOC department of the United Nations.”
In separate remarks, two small scale merchants, Hon. Arunsi Ubani Okafor (Trader ) and Mrs. Rosemary Ani (A Poultry dealer ), commended the foundation for its programmes for initiative, promising to make good use of the funds when available.
Mr. Arunsi Ubani in expressing his satisfaction said “I am delighted because of this laudable gesture of the OUK Foundation which is being promoted by Senator Orji Uzor Kalu. This is a Project which Senataor . Orji Uzor started even before he got into office.
If you look around you will see people beaming with smiles on their faces because of these supportive loans .
The funds will go long way in supporting our business, because with this loan I as a trader can buy more goods in order to meet up with customer demands.
We are indeed very happy we pray that God continues to strengthen and give the Foundation and Senator Orji Uzor Kalu more wisdom.
We are confident that more divdends of democracy will be attracted to us so we are very much happy.”
It can be recalled that the Orji Uzor Kalu Foundation in 2017 distributed Toyota Sienna buses to select transporters in the state under its youth empowerment scheme at a ceremony which had in attendance Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Foundation has partnered with international organizations, and has continually impacted lives positively through various initiatives, including free health service, free distribution of 450,000 high Specie palm seedling to farmers , scholarship scheme, youth empowerment and leadership mentoring.
See photos below: