The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, on Thursday inaugurated a N2.5 million loan scheme, in order to empower widows from Ife, Modakeke and other nearby communities.
The monarch said the idea of assisting them came when he ascended the throne and the widows came and presented him some gifts.
Oba Ogunwusi said, “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.”
The monarch said he would also distribute 50 to 100 bags of rice and cows to the widows as part of his plans to banish hunger every month.
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.”