Under the umbrella of the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), The Bank of Industry (BoI) declared it has collaborated with Diamond Bank to give soft loans to traders, farmers, artisans, cooperatives and youths in the country.
The information was made known by the Acting Managing Director, BoI, Mr Waheed Olagunju, during the launching of the programme in Lagos.
Mr. Olagunju however remarked that the Federal Government initiated the scheme due to its love for sustainable business growth, as well as the empowerment of micro-entrepreneurs.
Olagunju clarified that the GEEP scheme, would disburse N140 billion to micro-entrepreneurs, adding that the scheme was one of the social intervention programmes of the Federal Government, being handled by the bank of Industry.
The BoI boss explained that government aims to promote financial inclusion and access to credit for about 1.6 million market traders, farmers, artisans, cooperatives and youths through GEEP’s MarketMoni product, which is a microcredit loan and easy to access from N10,000 to N100,000, and repayable over six months.
Olagunju further declared that the loan was affordable and free of interest rate, except for five per cent flat administrative fee, meaning that, for instance:
“If you take N20, 000 loan you will repay N21, 000 at the end of six months.
“The beauty is that it is a weekly repayment so it is easy for the beneficiary,” he emphasized.
Olagunju concluded that the idea was to make the loan easily accessible and affordable to the recipients as long as they have a Bank Verification Number (BVN) and also belong to a market /trade association.
Meanwhile Mrs Toyin Adeniji, the Executive Director, Financial Inclusion and Micro Enterprise, who represented the BoI boss, said the partnership was to facilitate the participation of the informal sector in the banking segment.
On their part, Mr Uzoma Dozie, Chief Executive Officer, Diamond Bank, remarked that the collaboration would result to gender empowerment, business growth, job creation as well as promote cashless policy system of the government:
“We are not just providing finance but using ICT to formalize the vibrant and informal sector of the economy,” Dozie reiterated.
A step in the right direction if you asked me and I congratulate the initiators and sponsors of the programme, whilst also wishing the beneficiaries a good outing with the scheme and also encourage them to make good use of the opportunity for business growth and for better lives. The time to think and act is now; these are life and business essentials, so let’s keep thinking clearly. Thank you for reading and do have a beautiful day!
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