Delta CARES: 5000 Deltans register, to receive COVID-19 financial support in two weeks after verification
Not less than 5000 people in Delta state have been registered and set to receive financial grant under the Delta COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (Delta CARES) programme.
The programme, an offshoot of Nigeria CARES, is under the sponsorship of the World Bank and Nigeria Bank of Industry and aimed at reviving micro and medium enterprises that were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Emerald News reports that for over four months, there was economic lockdown in Nigeria, a development which led to many firms, both small and big, losing heavy patronage, some staff were sacked, some resorted to paying half salaries while some others were shutdown.
The objective of this initiative is therefore to revive and re-awaken the small scale industries and come on stream again with financial aid.
A few weeks ago, the Delta state government in collaboration with Bank of Industry trained 200 enumerators who would assist in identifying the small and micro enterprises for the purpose of boosting their performance with the financial grant.
Eligibility criteria was put in place to guide the enumerators on who is qualified to be enlisted into the programme. And with this guide, Susan Omiete of the Growth and Operations Department of the Bank of Industry on Wednesday told journalists that over 5000 beneficiaries have been registered across the 25 local government areas of the state.
During the verification exercise which began on Wednesday and held simultaneously in three centres of Asaba, Agbor and Ogwashi Uku, the BOI staff said the bank is working in collaboration with Delta state government to provide support for the MSMEs and empower them to start up their businesses again.
When asked whether there is a fixed amount for each participant, Omiete said there is no fixed amount as the disbursement will be done in line with set criteria by the Delta state government.
However, she told journalists that the persons who were invited for the physical verification at the 11 centres across the state have been registered and their data are already in the Delta CARES data base.
“So, when we verify their businesses, that will determine the amount of money we will disburse to them. So far, we have over 5000 people across the 25 local government areas of the state. We are registering them in batches,” she said. She said 192 persons were registered in Asaba which comprises Oshimili North and Oshimili South.
Austin Inaya, Special Assistant to the Executive Secretary of Delta State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency, Barrister Orezi Esievo, said the grant was secured by Delta state government. He added that there are 11 centres for the verification exercise across the state.
Awele Nwankwo, one of the enumerators in Asaba, said they were well equipped for the task of enumerating the micro businesses across the state.
Nwankwo told journalists that they “were given orientation and the idea of what to do. So, we are ready and fully prepared. We collect the data and send digitally to the head office.”
One of the beneciaries, Mrs. Ebieri Gilo, felt elated on seeing the text message of invitation for the verification of her business.
She said: “When I received the test message, I felt elated to be invited for the verification. I must thank God and appreciate the organisers for this laudable initiative. As at present, the whole world is going through turbulent time to recover their economies.
“I’m into catering and hospitality. I happen to be a victim of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. The COVID-19 took away my business. This grant, when it finally comes, will help me resuscitate my business.”
The verification team visited Asaba, Ogwashi Uku and Agbor centres where the verification for six local government areas was held on Wednesday, May 5, 2021