Here’s some cheering news: The Federal Government of Nigeria announced Monday that at least 1.2 million Nigerians will be given soft loans which will attract between two and three per cent interest rate. This is part of efforts by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to create jobs under the Federal government’s social investment scheme.
Mr. Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, speaking in Abuja on Sunday, said that government was working with a few enterprise agencies and private firms to achieve this aim.
The agencies named by Mr. Akande are the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Bank of Agriculture, the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and the Bank of Industry (BOI).
A quote from Mr. Akande reads:
“About 1.2 million Nigerians are going to be given soft loans, may be at two or three per cent, loans of N20,000 to N50,000, N100,000, the traders, for people that have small businesses.
“We are going to be using co-operatives, so all these groups mentioned will be working together because we believe small and medium enterprises are very critical to the recovery and rejuvenation of the economy.
“So, we are working to design all kind of intervention financial facilities since we are not getting the kind of affordable loans in the main banking sector.”
Mr. Akande said that the Federal Government was using the intervention funds to give money to small and medium scale enterprises so that they can trade and do business with the money at very little interest rate.
He also reiterated that the Federal Government was hoping to do more for Nigerians using the intervention fund as part of its social investment scheme.
He said that the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Bank of Agriculture, the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and the Bank of Industry (BOI) among others, have been enlisted to provide must needed support for the scheme.
Mr. Akande said that government would continue to utilize resources from the agencies to actively boost other social investment schemes.
“We are working with these agencies to have that kind of glory of affordable loan to 1.2 million Nigerians to do trading of different kinds’’ he said.