Engr Tunji Ariyomo set up Interest-free Loan Co-op for Akure APC members, artisans

***Donates N2.5m take-off grant

An infrastructure engineer and a philanthropist, Engr. Olatunji Ariyomo, FNSE, has inaugurated a cooperative society for members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Akure South local government area of the state to offer interest-free loans for artisans, traders, and market women.

While addressing a large gathering of party faithful at the party’s secretariat in the local government on Thursday, Ariyomo who is popularly known as Tunji Light by the locals, announced the initial deposit of a two million naira take-off grant for the Cooperative Society.

The Chairman of the party in the local government, Hon. (Chief) Fesobi Akinmolayan applauded Ariyomo for rising to the occasion at a time of global economic crisis and lack of access to credit and promised the commitment of the Local Government Executive to utilize the provisions judiciously.

Akinmolayan described the Akure South APC Cooperative Society’s initiative as one of a kind in the history of political empowerment in Nigeria disclosing that it is a gesture targeted at teaching members how to fish and become productive rather than looking forward to sharing free money.

Chief Akinmolayan confirmed to the gathering that not only has Engr. Ariyomo properly structured the Cooperative Society for the benefit of micro and small-scale entrepreneurs in the local government, the engineer has indeed deposited the take-off grant of N2 million to the account of the Cooperative Society with Zenith Bank Plc.

Akinmoyan further explained that the programme is designed to assist members in accessing interest-free loans for their businesses and trade.

He invited participants to support the project and to appreciate the gesture of the Abuja-based engineer while appealing to other leaders in the local government to support the project.

In his words, “If my Executive can get 50 more leaders to pitch in N1 million or N500,000 each, we would grow the capital base of the Cooperative Society above N50 million in no time”.

According to Akinmolayan, “The interest-free Akure South APC Cooperative Society is in place to show the practicality of the sense of responsibility we preach as a political party to all and sundry.

All you need to access this loan is to be a member of the APC Akure South Local Government Area, come with your business plan, obtain a form from us, fill and submit it – that is all.”

Hon. Akinmolayan described the donor as “a visionary and a leader ‘per excellence’”.

The Chairman further disclosed that he has received an additional alert of the sum of N500,000 from the donor as traditional empowerment for some of the dedicated women in the local government.

The APC Woman Leader in Akure South, Hon. (Mrs.) Funke Daramola, described Engr Ariyomo as a leader with whom she has been involved in the political scene for ages.

She stated that the Cooperative Society would impact a lot of members of the party and enjoined would-be beneficiaries to ensure they pay back the loan on schedule so that it would continue to revolve for the benefits of other members stating that the Executive had secured the participation of an experienced lawyer to ensure that beneficiaries keep to the terms of the loans

Zenith Bank Plc, the official banker to the Cooperative Society was represented by Mr. Babafemi Adefisoye who informed the gathering that the Bank is apolitical but will continue to offer top-notch banking services to all and sundry.

He shared insights on how the Executive Committee of the party at the local government can ensure that each beneficiary pays back the loan as of when due.

A legal practitioner, Bar. Sandra Ogunmola, appealed to beneficiaries to be sincere with the society for the benefit of other members. She stated that each beneficiary will be known, properly vetted, and properly documented.

She commended the donor, Engr Ariyomo for his gesture, and informed participants that the engineer in the past 24 years has offered scholarship support to thousands across the state and that he has equally sponsored hundreds in procuring JAMB forms.

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