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COVID-19 Survival Fund: Ondo artisans accuse agency chairman of diversion

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THE Ondo State artisans have accused Kosemani Kolawole, Chairman of the Ondo State Micro-Credit Agency of diverting the COVID-19 Survival Fund to her church members.

They made this disclosure during a protest in Akure, the state capital on Friday, The Punch has reported.

They alleged that Kosemani, who is also the coordinator of the survival fund in the state marginalized them by replacing their names with her church members. They alleged that it was only a few of them that got the money.

Speaking, one of the protesters, Mr. Onile Adams, said they were worried about how the funds were released to some artisans, while others did not get anything, hence the protest.

“We have over 97 associations and we expect each association to get up to 60 percent of what was sent to them. We did all we were asked to do. We had several meetings and submitted many forms. There was no reason to do online registration,” he said, 

“What we now heard was that enumeration was done inside the church and other people that are not artisans were enumerated. About 4,500 artisans were supposed to get the alert but we didn’t receive an alert.”

But Kolawale has denied the allegation. She said the fund was paid directly to beneficiaries.

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“I didn’t divert anything to my church members. We are not paying money to artisans. It is the Federal Government that is paying. Monies are being paid directly to those enumerated,” she said.

The COVID-19 Survival Fund is a N75 billion monetary intervention of the federal government to mitigate the economic consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak on Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in the country.

Registration for the funds which is the core of the N2.3 trillion stimulus package of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan began in September.

Vincent Ufuoma is a reporter with The ICIR. He is a lover of God, truth, knowledge and justice.

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