In its determined efforts to help alleviate poverty in the society, an American-based socio-cultural association, the Ibadan Descendants Union, (IDU), Dallas Forthworth Chapter has inaugurated the first phase of an Ibadan Family Empowerment (IFE) scheme to support small and petty business owners in Ibadan community.
The inauguration of the event was held on Friday, at the Ibadan House, Oke Aremo, Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.
In his welcome address, the President of the Association, Mr Shola Bolomope said the association was motivated after the success of their 6 months empowerment sampling trial conducted through a petty pepper seller, Mrs. Morufat Abdul-Jelili.
He added that judicious use of the money given the first beneficiary prompted their desire to do more for the community by offering the same 50,000 Naira to two Ibadan Indigenes in each of the eleven local government areas of Ibadanland.
His words: “We performed empowerment experiment for six months and the success story is the reason we’re here. Our Dallas IDU gave Mrs Abdul-Jelili the sum of #50,000 to improve her in-house pepper business. She has now graduated to where she has started buying and selling in bulk. This thus encouraged and motivated our members to raise fund to empower more people like this”
President Bolomope informed the gathering that the second phase of the IFE project will involve five beneficiaries from each of the eleven local government areas of Ibadanland. He assured all that the Dallas Union has raised enough fund to further increase the number to ten from each of the council areas. The second phase he promised will be executed before the end of the year.
He then pleaded with the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the fund so as not to jeopardize the chances of others.
He said: “The money that we’re offering you is from the sweat and hard work of Ibadan sons and daughters in Dallas and not from government or politicians. That’s why I am begging you to please use only for the intended purposes”.
Also, while eulogizing the effort of the IDU Dallas, the President, Central Council Of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), Prince Oluyemisi Adeaga praised this initiative by the Dallas group and appealed to other associations within the council to emulate the great gesture from Dallas.
He appealed to the beneficiaries not to spend the money lavishly but use it for the development of their businesses.
Inaugurating the project, the former President of the CCII, Chief Bayo Oyero, appealed to other Associations of Ibadan indigenes in the diaspora to emulate the IDU, USA , by giving back to the community.
He also spoke of the need for proper coordination of their empowerment programmes.
Responding to the kind gesture of this assocation, the first beneficiary of the empowerment, Mrs Morufat AbdulJelili of Amuloko in Ona Ara local government area of Oyo appreciated the kind gesture of the association which she said has helped to change her life and those of her children .
She encouraged other beneficiaries to make use of the money given to them accountably, and not to spend it on inconsequential things.
Another beneficiary, Mrs Mary Sani appreciated the effort of the association, but appealed to other well-to-do Nigerians to follow this footsteps by helping other indigent members of the community
Also speaking at the launch, a manager from WEMA Bank, Alhaji Tunde Azeez assured the Dallas group that his bank will assist in monitoring the beneficiaries and told them to expect questions from time to time from the bank.
Recall that the Ibadan Descendants Union, (IDU), Dallas Forthworth Chapter had last year partnered with Ona Ara Development Forum to help indigent members of the community. The Union is currently sponsoring the education of a student from the local council up to the University level.
Present at the event includes the Jagun Olubadan of Ibadanland Chief Abiola Iyiola who is also the national general secretary of IDU USA INC, President Ona Ara Development Forum, Alhaji Kola Bolomope, Patron of Dallas union Engr Tunji Gafaar, representatives of the Olubadan of Ibadan and many other dignitaries.