The Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Maj.-Gen. Barry Ndiomu (retd) has activated the PAP’s Cooperative Loan Scheme (PACOSOL) in fullfil of pledge to transform ex-agitators to entrepreneurs.
The PACOSOL commenced disbursement of loans at the weekend to first batch of ex-agitators after sensitising them on the conditions for the facility.
The Management Consultant, Presidential Amnesty Programme Beneficiaries Cooperative Scheme Limited, Zigha Ayibakuro, confirmed the development on Monday.
He stated that the disbursement started in Uyo, Akwa Ibom; Port Harcourt, Rivers; Yenagoa, Bayelsa and Benin in Edo State.
Ayibakuro in a statement on Monday said 573 beneficiaries completed their documentation in Yenagoa, Warri and Benin and would soon be credited with the loans.
The statement quoted the Chairman, Advisory Board Presidential Amnesty Cooperative Scheme Limited, Justice Francis Tabai, as saying that the initiative would help to create jobs in the region.
He said: “We have been receiving this N65,000 for almost 15 years. What have we done with it? Now we want to organise the people into cooperatives so that they can do the business on their own and become employers of labour”.
Ayibakuro said that the scheme had put together a support system to guide the ex-agitators in their chosen ventures.
Ayibakuro said: “To show commitment that we want you all to grow. If all of us decide to do what we ought to do, we will make progress.
“The loan is not designed to solve all your problems. It is meant to assist you to grow your business. We need you to work with us. There are other great opportunities that we can create for you if you succeed with the little we have given you.
“Growth takes time and you must realize that. It takes consistency, being focused and perseverance. We have put together a support service system to guide you to avoid common mistakes young entrepreneurs make”.
Some of the beneficiaries thanked Ndiomu for fulfilling his promise saying the scheme would help them generate incomes and increase the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of their various states.
They described Ndiomu as God sent, insisting that his purposeful leadership has helped to transform their lives and assured him of their unalloyed support while also calling on people of the region to stand with him to make the PAP work.