Osun State Government will soon give out another round of soft loans totalling N821.34 million to 24,850 people comprising traders, artisans and business owners towards boosting entrepreneurial activities.
The State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mr Ismail Jayeoba-Alagbada, said in a statement in Osogbo that the would be granted under the State Micro-Credit Agency.
The Renaissance recalls that similar loan facilities were provided in 2014, 2015 and 2016, with N662 million, N1.5 billion and N681 million respectively.
Jayeoba-Alagbada said the 2018 edition of the loan disbursement would boost the economy and small-scale enterprises in the state.
“No fewer than 24,850 traders, small scales enterprise and business owners have benefitted from the loan totally N3.6bn.
“The state government, with the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria, has provided N2.1 billion as takeoff capital grant to the Osun Micro Credit Agency for disbursement to eligible beneficiaries.
“The N2.1 billion initial capital has thus matured and grown to about N3.7 billion.
“Consequently, 11,391 beneficiaries from commerce were given N1.68 billion credit; 9,100 beneficiaries from agriculture sector were given N1.34 billion while 2,552 manufacturers were empowered with N375.7 million,” the commissioner said.
In the same vein, he said 1,379 artisans were given N204.54 million; 233 people from education sector got N34.338 million while 195 people from health sector obtained N28.54 million.
The commissioner noted that 90 per cent of the beneficiaries, who got N100,000 each, have been repaying the loan by to the agency.
He explained that as a result of the direct re-ploughing back of the initial capital provided by the state government and recycling of the N2 billion Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) fund, the agency has successfully operated with N3.7 billion.
“The success recorded in the repayment of the loans is an indication that the economy of the state is improving and if the beneficiaries are not making enough profits, they would not have been able to make repayment.”
Jayeoba-Alagbada, however, noted that the credit facility achieved its intended purpose, which is to create wealth and employment opportunity for the people of the state.
By Adeyinka Aremu, Osogbo