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Governor Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti State has allocated a sum of N20 million to practitioners in the arts, culture, and creative economy sector in the state to enhance their businesses.

During the presentation of award letters to the beneficiaries through the Ekiti Arts Endowment Fund, the governor emphasized his administration’s dedication to supporting the creative sector for the benefit of the local economy.

The Head of Service, Sunday Komolafe, who represents Governor Oyebanji, highlighted that the disbursement would continue to support more practitioners, enabling them to expand their businesses and utilize their talents effectively and efficiently.

The Head of Service said, “ Our administration is extending the shared prosperity agenda to the creative economy through this endowment fund and other programmes.

“It is for us to create jobs and boost the economy of the state through the support we are giving to the practitioners in this very important sector. It will make our people more productive and you know it is productivity that grows an economy.”

Komolafe urged the beneficiaries to utilize the funds wisely towards their growth and creativity, adding that they should pay back for them to be considered for more funds.

Professor Rasaki Ojo-Bakare, the Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Creative Economy noted that the loan, which comes with a seven per cent interest rate, will expand the creative businesses of the beneficiaries towards contributing to the rich cultural heritage of Ekiti.

The Commissioner added that Ekiti is the first sub-national to implement the endowment fund policy since its inception in 1989 under General Ibrahim Babangida’s administration.

Bakare said, “This fund is a support mechanism for Ekiti State creatives. This will have a canon effect on productivity. A soft loan like this with very low interest will always inspire the creative energy of our people.

“Although some sub-nationals have made occasional financial interventions in the sector in the past, Ekiti state is the first state in Nigeria to bring this structured and revolving endowment fund policy to implementation since its inception in 1989 under the Babangida’s administration.”

The commissioner added that, “To our talented artists and creatives, this fund is for you. It is designed to help you bring your ideas to life, to help you showcase your talents, to help you expand your creative businesses and to make you prosper while contributing to the rich cultural heritage of our dear state.

“I therefore encourage you to spend the money judiciously on the project you proposed. It is a loan, don’t waste it, you can’t take it and run away. You will pay for it.

“The wise thing for you to do is to spend the money well. Payback quickly and collect another one. The duration of repayment is 18 months, 6 months moratorium period, 12 months to pay gradually and the interest rate is seven percent.”

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