At least 1.2 million Nigerians will be given soft loans which attract between two and three per cent interest rate as part of efforts to create jobs under government’s social investment programme. Mr Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, in Abuja on Sunday said that government was synergizing with its enterprise agencies and the private sector to achieve the goal.
He named the agencies as the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Bank of Industry (BOI), Bank of Agriculture, the National Directorate of Employment(NDE), among others.
“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. He said that government was using the intervention funds to release money to small and medium scale enterprises so that they can trade with the money at very little interest rate.
He said that the Federal Government was hoping to do more for Nigerians using the intervention fund as part of its social investment programme. He said that the SMEDAN, BOI, Bank of Agriculture, NDE, others had been harnessed to provide such support. Akande said that government would continue to use resources from the agencies to actively boost social investment programmes.
“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 added.