Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson over the weekend presented an instrument of N25m as a revolving loan to traders in the Swali and Kpansia markets in Yenagoa.
The amount is part of an initial N50 million micro finance revolving loan scheme for market traders, with the Governor expected to visit other markets later to disburse the remaining sum of N25 million.
Presenting the instruments to the Traders Associations, during a visit to the markets, Governor Dickson, who presented an instrument for N20m to the Swali and N5m to the Kpansia market Traders Associations, explained that, it is a revolving loan scheme to help them improve their businesses as well as boost the State?s economy.
He urged the leaders of the market associations to liaise with the State owned Izon Ibe Micro Finance bank, which will guide them in administering and facilitating the process to the benefit of their members.
The Governor, who was accompanied on the visit by his wife, Rachel and his Deputy Retired Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah, advised those who are interested in obtaining loans to make judicious use of the money, as they will pay back with little interests, stressing that the loan is meant for only traders in both markets.
Governor Dickson also disclosed that, due to the importance the government attaches to the welfare of traders, it intends to open outlets of the Izon Ibe Micro-Finance Bank Limited in the various markets to render banking services and support indigenous businessmen and women.
He also used the opportunity of the visit to introduce the PDP candidate for the Yenagoa/Kolokuma/Opokuma Federal Constituency, Hon. Douye Diri and the Yenagoa constituency 1 candidate for the State House of Assembly, Dr. Parkinson Markmanuel and called on them to vote massively for President Goodluck Jonathan and all PDP candidates in the forthcoming elections.
?The office of the Commissioner of Trade, Industry and Investment is open to all traders in the market to give you support in your businesses. Soon the Izon Micro-finance Bank Limited will soon be launched and a branch will be built within the market premises.
?The time for empowerment has come, and I want traders to take advantage of the loan that is provided and I promise to do more if the loan is properly utilised?.
Governor Dickson, who expressed concern over the poor sanitary condition of the markets, stated that, steps will be taken through the Ministry of Environment and the Environmental Sanitation Authority to improve on sanitary condition of the markets and make it more conducive for both traders and their customers, adding that, the government will ensure that, the abandoned stalls at the Swali market are completed and put to use, while, efforts are also being intensified at completing the new Kpansia market, after which roadside trading would be banned in both markets.
He also directed the commissioners of Works and Infrastructure and that of Trade, Industries and Investment to work out modalities for the completion of the abandoned sections of the Swali market, the repairs of the gates leading into the market, construction of drainage, reconstruction of the roads within the market and the one linking the Swali market to Harbour Road, through the old Shell Ramp.
The Bayelsa State Governor, also approved a request by the Traders Association to install a public address system to serve as a means of regular communication and enlightenment for the traders and visitors to the Swali market.
In her remarks, wife of the governor, Dr. Rachel Dickson, who expreesed her resolve to do more to support them, urged the traders to get their PVCs and vote for all the PDP candidates.
Commissioner of Trade, Industry and Investment, Barr. Kemela Okara, said government is interested in the affairs of the market and its traders, assuring that, the market would be made more befitting for them to transact their businesses.
In their separate remarks, the Chairmen of the Swali and Kpansia market traders associations, Festus Odumgba and Williams Osiemi commended the Governor for the visit, noting that, it portends progress for the traders and the overall development of the state.