Edo govt unveils plan to disburse ₦300m to MSMEs

Secretary to Edo State Government, Osarodion Ogie (left), with the Executive Director (Corporate Services), LAPO Microfinance Bank, Gloria Bassey, after signing of agreement.

By Jethro Ibileke

Edo State Government has explained why it earmarked the sum of N300 million to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the 18 local government area in the State.

The Secretary to Edo State Government, Osarodion Ogie, disclosed this at the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with LAPO Microfinance Bank for the disbursement of the money.

He disclosed that the loan which was facilitated under the Edo State MSME Funds, would be implemented by Edo State Skills Development Agency (Edojobs).

Ogie who signed the MoU on behalf of the State Government, commended the Board of Edo MSME Funds, the management of Edojobs and LAPO Microfinance Bank.

While noting that micro finance schemes are the engine room of any economy all over the world, Ogie appealed to all beneficiaries to make good use of the loan facilities.

He, however, warned that as it’s not a grant but a revolving loan that must be paid back.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Advisory Board MSME Fund, Peter Obaseki, who commended the government for its sustained support for small businesses in the State, noted that the mandate of the board was for economic empowerment of small businesses.

Obaseki, who said the loan was part of the social transfer scheme to empower residents in the State, added that it must not be an urban phenomenon but to each political wards and units each of the 18 local government areas of the State.

He said loan which has concessionary interest of 9 per cent is devoid of gender bias.

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He said 60 per cent of the funds are for females, 40 per cent for males while a provision of 10 per cent has been set aside for Peoples Living with Disabilities.

Obaseki explained that the loan disbursement was distributed in the ratio of 50 per cent to Edo South, 27.5 per cent to Edo North and 22.5 per cent to Edo Central senatorial districts respectively.

According to him, the MoU with LAPO Mfb made it the third financial partners the State Government is collaborating with to disburse to MSME in the state.

He added that LAPO Mfb was brought in to broaden the reach of the disbursement of the fund as well as monitoring, evaluation of beneficiaries and collection of loan repayment.

He noted that the state government had previously disbursed loan to 1,631 persons through the Bank of Industry and TrustFund Microfinance Bank.

The Executive Director, Corporate Services, Mrs. Gloria Bako, who signed for LAPO Mfb, commended the state government’s commitment to youth development, reassuring sustained partnership with the government.

She, however, appealed to would-be beneficiaries to make good use of the loan for the betterment of their businesses.

“We are humbled by this great task the Edo State Government has given to us, and it is an indication that the government is really concerns about the people that they govern.

“It also showed that the government is concerned not only about empowering business owners but doing a lot for the development of youths in terms of skill acquisitions.

“We want to thank the state government for the confidence reposed in our organization for the disbursement of loans to MSME”, she said.

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