Kwara State Governor Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq on Thursday launched the disbursement of a grant of N50,000 each for at least 4000 artisans to support their businesses and strengthen the local economy in the state, a statement from the government house said. .

AbdulRazaq said that artisans are custodians of various skills and key drivers of sustainable economic growth, adding that their inclusion in the intervention would help foster skills development and grow the economy.

“What we are doing today takes our inclusive growth policy to a new level. Artisans are the custodians of diverse skills and the key drivers of sustainable economic growth. Therefore, their inclusion in this intervention will help foster skills development and grow the economy,” said a statement signed by the governor’s spokesman, Rafiu Ajakaye.

“This program is one of our initiatives to support the growth of local industries, talents and SMEs. This prevents the export of jobs, strengthens the local economy, reduces the poverty rate and improves the standard of living in the state.

“Prior to our administration in 2019, Kwara State did not have any structured and legally backed initiatives to encourage and support local industries, self-employment, small businesses and reduce poverty.

“History tells us that we are already doing this through the Kwara State Social Investment Programme. We will not drop the ball.”

The administration had contracted in 2020 the production of 500,000 masks to the state branch of the Nigerian Tailors Union to curb the spread of COVID-19, among others.

He congratulated all the recipients and urged them to make good use of the grant for good impacts on society.

Speaking, the acting General Manager of the Kwara State Social Investment Program, AbdulQuowiyu Olododo, said that 4,000 artisans were handpicked from 13,000 applicants from the 16 local governments.

He praised Governor AbdulRazaq for his quality of leadership, his passion for the masses and how he has been supporting the agency to thrive in its assigned task.

“I must commend the efforts of our visionary, committed and prudent leader, His Excellency Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, who, without him, we would not have been able to get this far,” he said.

Kwara State Craftsmen Congress Chairman Alhaji Jimoh Adeshina praised the governor’s leadership style and how he has been supporting local craftsmen in various ways.

He said the current grant of N50,000 each for 4,000 artisans was unique and would have a major impact on the lives of the recipients.

“We should be grateful to God for the gift of Governor Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq. The Governor has kept all the promises that he made to the Kwara artisans during the 2019 campaigns. It is important to note that the Governor kept his promise to patronize us if he is elected to power,” he said.