By Yemi Balogun

The Kogi State Government has commenced the KG-CARES (Kogi COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus) Result Area 3 MSE Grants enumeration exercise.

The 2-day exercise which started Thursday 1st of December is being carried out by the implementing agency of the project, Kogi Enterprise Development Agency (KEDA) in conjunction with Bank of Industry (BOI).

In a chat with Journalists, Hajiya Rekiya Onaivo Sanni, MD/CEO, KEDA disclosed that the exercise was meant to verify the business documents of the selected beneficiaries in order to ensure it complies with the eligibility cateria of the KG-CARES RA3 project as well as data capturing for onward disbursement.

Speaking further, Hajiya Rekiya noted that the ongoing exercise covers the first batch of beneficiaries as over 2000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have been earmarked to benefit from the two-year project.

In a separate remark, Commissioner of Commerce and Industry, Hon Gabriel Yinusa Olofu commended the state governor, Yahaya Bello for his partnership with the World Bank to cushion the adverse effect of COVID-19 on businesses.

Chair of the State Cares Coordinating Unit (SCCU), Mr Haruna Sani, while addressing the beneficiaries urged them to make use of this opportunity as they are the lifeblood of the economy.

Speaking with a section of the beneficiaries, it was gathered that the process was adjudged very effective. One of the beneficiaries Mr Bidemi Olorukooba disclosed that the exercise was seamless and transparent. He commended the professionalism of the personnel as well as the hitch free network system used to conduct exercise.

Another beneficiary, Mr Umar Mohammed also described the exercise as seamless and brilliant. When asked if there were challenges encountered, he said there were none except a rare and isolated act of impatience from a few beneficiaries.

The KG-CARES Result Area 3 project will be implemented across three categories: DLI 3.1, Credit Grant will help co-finance business loans taken from June 2020 from recognised and approved financial institutions. While DLI 3.2, Operational Grant will support operational expenses such as utility bills, rents and other expenses of existing businesses. And DLI 3.3, ICT enhancement will support adoption of digital payment, integration costs and IT Solutions to firms and support firms to become e-commerce enabled.

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