Gombe State government has disbursed N500 million grant to support 60 businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The amount was disbursed to the beneficiaries under the Gombe COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (GO-CARES) programme.
It is a social programme in line with the Federal Government’s NG-CARES designed to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable households, Medium nd Small Scale Enterprises (SMEs).
Gov. Inuwa Yahaya announced this while presenting N500 million cheque to representatives of the business groups on Saturday in Gombe.
He said the move was to support businesses, adding that about N3.4 billion has been expended since inception of the GO-CARES programme in the state in 2022.
The government, he said, initiated viable interventions in form of relief packages to support thousands of vulnerable families and businesses.
“So far, 147,666 indigenes of Gombe State have benefitted from the GO-CARES and many more will come on board as many packages are underway.
“Ours is a grant not a loan, and the allocation of this huge sum is proof of how important we take businesses owing to the role they play in the growth and development of our dear state,” he said.
According to the governor, about 60 businesses will benefit from the N500 million grant with immediate effect.
The governor said that his administration had provided the right atmosphere conducive for businesses to thrive through intensive investment in infrastructure and human capital development.
“My government is a business-friendly government and our policies are geared towards benefitting common man.
“It is against this backdrop that we are undertaking N18 billion project, the Muhammadu Buhari Industrial Park in Dadin Kowa which will employ hundreds of thousands of youths and support numerous businesses within and outside Gombe State”.
Yahaya called on the people of the state to re-elect the All Progressives Congress (APC), to ensure sustainability and actualisation of viable social and economic development projects initiated by the party’s administration including the Kolmani Integrated Oil Project.
He also urged the beneficiaries to ensure effective utilisation of the fund to grow their businesses for the development of the state.
Chairman of the business owners association, Malam Uba Abdullahi lauded the gesture, adding that it would reduce poverty and encourage growth of SMEs in the state.