The Ooni of Ife His Imperial Majesty Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi(Ojaja II) on Thursday August 18, 2016 flagged off five licensed Cooperative societies as part of his Widows Empowerment Program initiated early this year.
Ooni Ogunwusi while addressing the huge crowd of widows numbering about five thousand from across Ifeland including Modakeke appealed to the well-to-do people in the society to assist the government in eradicating poverty facing the downtrodden in the country especially widows. He said that the Cooperative initiative was developed to empower the widows for a self-reliance and promised it would not stop his monthly donation of food and cash.
The African foremost monarch said he has deposited a sum of N2.5 million in Olofin Microfinance Bank, Ile-Ife as a take-off grant to enable the widows have access to loans to fund their businesses. He concluded his speech saying the idea of assisting them came when some widows visited him with gifts when he ascended the throne late last year and urged them to make use of the loan sincerely because the loan which requires no collateral when repaid will be given out to others.
“The thought of empowering the widows struck me when I ascended the throne. Some widows came to me and present some gifts. Their kindness, in spite of their poor economic state touched me. I was surprised that they could still think of honouring me. When I informed my chiefs and some elders about my plan, they screamed and said to me that the widows were many but I made them understand that God is always in control.” Ooni Said.
The monarch said he would also distribute between 50 to 100 bags of rice and some cows to the widows every month as part of his plans to banish hunger among the widows.
The Managing Director of Olofin Microfinance Bank, Mr. Toyin Olufolahan, appealed to the widows to repay back the loan, saying the fund was not a national cake.
He said, “There are five corporative societies, which will form a union under which the widows would be grouped along the line of their occupations or clusters.
“We are doing the programme in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria particularly, under one of its interventionist programme.
“Before anything can be released by the CBN, they always want to know what you want to procure; how you want to procure it and from which manufacturer will you be getting it from.”
He finally announced the five registered cooperative societies as Olokun, Osara, Yeyemolu, Moremi and Yemoo Cooperative Credit Societies respectively.