By Rotimi Olawale
As part of efforts to alleviating poverty among the less privileged citizens, Silicon Valley-NED Cooperative, says it has invested millions of Naira to support Nigerians its various empowerment and social intervention initiatives.
Speaking on this development, Nigerian-American Business Consultant and the Chairman of Silicon Valley-NED Cooperative, Ibeju Lekki, Her Royal Highness Queen Mother Temitope Ajayi (Mama Diaspora) said the support not restricted to just Lagos but across Nigeria and different ethnic groups and religions.
Ajayi explained that she is passionate about the initiative to supporting the less privileged citizens because it was a divine instruction by the Almighty God to support and wipe tears off the faces of the downtrodden in society.
According to her, in the last five months, millions of Naira have been invested in the empowerment initiative. The support facility and items include disbursement of N20,000 interest-free loans; which qualifies a beneficiary to obtain a maximum of N160,000 upon repayment of previous credit facilities, over one thousand kilograms of Bags of Rice, Hundreds of Kegs of Vegetable and Palm oil, thousands of Packs of Instant noodles and Spaghetti, Bags of Wheat and Semolina, Carbonated Drinks, Table water, Diary Products and among others.
Ajayi also constructed a modern 3,500 Capacity, 7- Chamber Fish Ponds and Hatcheries to support Young Aqua-Farmers with a Standby Automatic Power Generating Set. A total of five Professional Fish farmers were engaged to manage the Fishery Project.
“We have embarked on massive modern fish rearing, hatching of fingerings and sales within the country and export to the neighbouring African countries and overseas.
“Recently, we started Fish, Chicken and Snail Processing and Production for local consumption and export. These products are produced under standard hygienic condition and quality assurance parameters. Our Success story is worth sharing to encourage and inspire young Business Owners and every hardworking young adult in the country and across the world”, the International Business Consultant emphasised.”
However, some of the beneficiaries of the empowerment commended the cooperative for its supports through the wonderful initiative.
For instance, a Lekki Petty Trader, Mrs Mariam Oladi Kolawole narrated how she learnt about the support scheme which led to the transformation of her life.
“While roasting corns for sale on the street along Lekki-Epe road, A neighbour, worried by the stress I go through on daily basis and the huge loss I incurred due to low patronage and spoilage of the produce, recommended Mama Diaspora to me for assistance”.
Also, Kolawole enrolled with the Lekki Silicon Valley-NED Cooperative after which a sum of Twenty thousand naira loan was issued to her. Subsequently, after full repayment of the initial credit facility, a sum of N40,000 was presented to her at the Lagos Office.
One of the Protesters against police brutality (tagged EndSARS) and misgovernance at the Lekki tollgate, Miss Anyanwu Callista Uchechi was also a beneficiary.
During the first phase of the programme, a sum of N20,000 was issued to her but after remitting the total sum, an interest-free loan of Forty thousand naira was presented to her to support and expand her fast-food business.
“I make an average sales of N20,000 daily and a profit of N7,000, Mama Diaspora has changed my story for good”, Uchechi said.
Uchech, therefore, eulogised the virtues of Ajayi. She, however, urged well-meaning Nigerians to emulate her gestures as this will make positive impacts on their lives.
An Arewa group member in Lekki, Mohammed Tijani also shared his business success story as a Security Guard, who operates a mini kiosk where he sells provisions and other consumables to support his meagre monthly salary.
“When I discovered that Mama Diaspora was organising empowerment programme for the people in Lekki, I decided to attend, got enrolled and within a short period, my Bank account was credited with a sum of N20,000 to support my business.
“I decided to invest in instant Noodles and carbonated drinks Supply and distribution business. At the moment, I have become a major distributor of these products, the Traders on Lekki axis now buy from me”, Tijani boasted.
She, however, called for partnership with the Federal and State Governments and the private sector. An effort she said will reduce the unemployment rate in the country.
“A collaborative mechanism will go a long way to lift many unemployed young Adults and the less privileged citizens out of poverty” Ajayi noted.
Ajayi also urged the Unemployed Youths to take up productive venture; shun any act of violence and social vice.
She also charged the Nigerian youths to make optimal use of their talents for self-development and actualization.
While collaborating Ajayi’s words, the Manager, Mr A. Anold said: “At SV-NED Cooperative society, We have engaged, trained and empowered hundreds of indigent residents who are now successful Entrepreneurs and most of these people are employers of labour in their capacity”.
Anold called on Unemployed youths across the country to take the unique opportunity offered by the Ibeju Lekki SV-NED Cooperative Society as the company is set to employ more hardworking and dedicated job seekers
Mrs Shakira Olatunji, a mother of four engaged by the SV-NED Cooperative society as Marketing Manager narrated how Ajayi brightened her world and lifted her family out of hopelessness.
“Mama Diaspora has helped my family. She motivated and taught everyone around her how to make a living without being a liability to others. She gave me an interest-free loan and trading support items to start a business within the neighbourhood. Mama also provided a Mini Shop space for me within her premises; she is an Angel on earth”, Olatunji eulogised.
“Before I was introduced to Mama Diaspora by a friend, my family had an accommodation problem. But when I narrated my story to her, she released one of the Mini flats in her compound to my family for use”, Olatunji recalled.