Artisans in Ondo State have alleged that the process of enumerating artisans in the state to benefit from Federal Government Post COVID Survival Fund have been hijacked and as a result, only a paltry number of genuine artisans in their data base have benefited from the fund.
The State Secretary of Ondo State Artisan Group who also doubles as the State President of Office and Automated Equipment Association, Comrade George Bamidele Omoode stated this while speaking on Post COVID experience of artisans in Ondo State.
Comrade Bamidele who said the state government must intervene in the process and that the federal government must monitor the process of disbursement of the fund in Ondo State also restated the need for all state governors to create an Artisans Welfare Board.
“4,400 slots were given to Ondo State but it is unfortunate that the association of artisans in Nigeria under the aegis of Ondo State Artisan Group was not carried along not until the vocal person was chosen from another department who doesnt even know the details and data harvesting of artisan in Ondo State. They harvested over 2000 plus for themselves out of 4,400 and our members who were enumerated are not up to 1,000.
And out of about 1,000 artisans enumerated, only about 0.01 percent have gotten alert. We have been having meetings. The federal government must intervene in the process of disbursement of this money. When money of this nature is to be disbursed; they have to indentify genuine artisans.
The State Government has to address artisans about this issue and that is why we have been clamouring that all state government should create Artisan Welfare Board. We make up about sixty five percent of the electorate.
We have data but they never used it and I am getting information that politicians have hijacked it and are now the ones bringing the names of their dependent. In the whole of Akoko, only 45 slots was given to them — which means that lots of our people are not enumerated”, he stressed.
While noting that it was high time the government begin to harness the value of artisan in building the economy of their individual states, Comrade Bamidele further restated that any nation that refuses to harness the value of artisans is bound to fail.
“We control the economy of state and any nation that underrates the value of artisan, will fail. We have case study of China, a country which Nigeria once borrowed money to but are now the ones borrowing us money and that is because they have harnessed the value of artisans”, he added saying it has not been easy on artisans in Ondo State as COVID 19 triggered poverty among its members.