With over 37,000 beneficiaries from its Micro-Credit schemes, Delta State’s attempt at poverty alleviation under the watch of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan gets a thumbs-up from the Central Bank
Since he assumed office on 29 May 2007, governor Emmanuel Uduaghan has never failed in word and deed to marshal his intention of changing the lot of Deltans via his three-prong agenda of Peace and Security, Human Capital Development and Infrastructure Development.
But for so long, Uduaghan’s rescue efforts remained uncelebrated. But all that seemed changed last month when the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, pronounced Delta as the number one state in the fight against poverty, following its success in micro-credit financing. In a citation during the CBN’s 3rd Annual Micro-Finance Conference and Entrepreneurship Award held in Abuja, the apex bank acknowledged that Delta State has committed over N750 million into its Micro-Credit Scheme, a figure that surpassed the contributions of any other state in the alleviation of poverty. This figure excludes the over N1.2bn micro-credit facility dispensed to beneficiaries in the oil bearing zones by the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC.
Buoyed by the N500m micro-finance partnership with Oceanic Bank and a N1b MOU with Bank of Industry for small scale enterprises, the Delta Micro-Credit Programme, DMCP, at the last count had empowered 25,537 people spread across the three senatorial districts of the state. The beneficiaries range from Deltans with interest in cottage, services and agric production industries alongside those with interest in trading.Receiving the award at a well attended ceremony in Abuja, Governor Uduaghan said it will propel the state to do more in the agricultural sector and youth empowerment while emphasising that Delta will be on the rise whether the price of oil is falling or not. “Agriculture does not depend on OPEC, agric does not depend on Shell, agric does not depend on Chevron, agric depends on you and I. It depends on the peasant farmers, it depends on those populations Prof. Soludo is saying earn or have access to less than one dollar per day,” Uduaghan enthused. He predicted that the agricultural sector in the state will employ over two million people in the near future if well organised.