It was a moment of joy for 300 petty traders in Badagry Area of Lagos State on Saturday 22nd January as the Pioneer, Real Act of Kindness (RAK) Development Foundation, Mr. Mobolaji Ogunlende supported their businesses with 5million cash grant.
Speaking at the cash grant distribution event which held at Huwanji Apartment, Ogunlende stated that the cash grant is to help petty traders to be independent and boost their micro businesses.
“I am always sad when I hear that petty traders like pepper sellers, pure water sellers, bread and vegetables sellers collect goods on credit. If I have power to do more than this, honestly I would have done it but please manage what I have. With the little support I am giving out today, you can stand on your own”. He said.
According to Ogunlende, “This little assistance is just for petty traders like pure water sellers, vegetable sellers, bread , pepper sellers etc that do not need much money to start a business”.
Ogunlende added that the principle of accountability, transparency and integrity operated by the foundation gave it a wider recognition as the NGO was among the 10 foundations selected to support the Victim Support Funds (VSF) intervention during COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 to distribute food items valued at N250m in Badagry.
“RAK foundation was among 10 selected by the Victim Support Fund, headed by Mrs. Toyosi Akerele and Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd) as the Chairman, to distribute food items valued at N250m in Badagry communities. This is to show that RAK foundation has been recognized by all in Nigeria and we deserve a kudos for that”. He added.
Responding to questions from the press on how the 300 beneficiaries were selected, Ogunlende explained that 70 women were selected each from Badagry LG, Badagry West LCDA and Olorunda LCDA respectively, while the remaining 90 were nominated by people across the three Councils to make 300, adding that each of them would receive a minimum of N10,000.
He further stated that the beneficiaries were recommended from across different associations such as Market Women Association (Iyalojas), Traditional Heads, Council Chairmen, Councilors, CAN, Muslim Association, Women Forums, Association of Physically Challenged etc who gave the nomination forms to deserving petty traders in their areas.
In his remarks, the Akran of Badagry, HRM Aholu Menu Toyi 1 who was ably represented by the the Baale of Topo, Chief Oluwadami Avoseh, urged well-meaning Badagrians to emulate the good gestures of Ogunlende, commending him for helping the petty traders in Badagry to grow their businesses and prayed that God will continue to protect him and his family.
He urged beneficiaries of the grant support to use the money judiciously to encourage the foundation to extend the gesture to others in Badagry.
Also speaking at the event, a former Supervisor for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) Badagry LGA, Mrs. Risikat Padonu admonished the beneficiaries to use the money to add value to their businesses.
“This is not the money that you will use to buy “Aso Ebi” or spend on any ceremony. Please, use it to buy more goods to your wares, though it might not be plenty but it is better than nothing. We are all aware of the hardship in town, we should give kudos to the foundation for coming out this time to support the women”. She said.
Responding, one of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Oluwakemi Sulaiman who is a pepper seller said she is grateful to God and the foundation for the gift, stating that she will use the money to buy more goods to sell.
“I always buy my goods on credit from Hausa that is selling in quantities at Ajara, later I will pay him and collect another. But today, RAK foundation has made me independent because I will no longer buy on credit. I am grateful to Ogunlende for setting us free from this curse and I pray that God will continue to bless his pocket”. She said.
In the same vein, Miss Oluwaseun Alaba, a pure water seller from Aradagun who received N10,000 commended the foundation and promised to use the money to expand her business, noting that she will add bottle water and soft drinks to her business.