By Laleye Dipo in Minna
Nearly 12,000 women and youths have benefitted from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund, the Niger State Commissioner for Commerce and Investment, Alhaji Mudi Mohammed, has said.
So far, Muhammed said N1 billion had been disbursed to the beneficiaries while another N1 billion had been processed and ready for disbursement.
The commissioner, who disclosed this while exchanging views with newsmen in Minna on Monday evening, said the acquisition of the loan had resulted in the creation of 3,261 new jobs “with a multiplier effect of over 200,000 jobs”.
Saying that the CBN SME fund was meant to create wealth, job and alleviate poverty, Muhammed insisted that the money was a loan and not a grant.
As a result, Mohammed said government had put in adequate measures to ensure that the challenges of repayment of the loan was surmounted.
The Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Agency in the state, Alhaji Farouq Audi, in a similar manner, explained that 60 per cent of the fund is targeted at women, while the remaining 40 per cent is set aside for the physically challenged.
Audi said only 30 per cent of the 40 per cent had been assessed by the physically challenged.
He disclosed that the beneficiaries from the micro businesses had 12 months within which to repay the money while macro businesses had 36 months repayment period.
Audi also said that four banks and 14 micro finance banks in the state were involved in the disbursement of the funds.