✕ CLOSE Online Special City News Entrepreneurship Environment Factcheck Everything Woman Home Front Islamic Forum Life Xtra Property Travel & Leisure Viewpoint Vox Pop Women In Business Art and Ideas Bookshelf Labour Law Letters

Kaduna SMEs can’t access N1bn loans

The Bank of Industry (BOI) and the Kaduna State government had in 2015 signed an agreement to raise N1bn Entrepreneurial Development Fund (EDF) to boost…

The Bank of Industry (BOI) and the Kaduna State government had in 2015 signed an agreement to raise N1bn Entrepreneurial Development Fund (EDF) to boost the operation of small-scale businesses in the state.
Based on the term of the agreement, the Kaduna State government raised the sum of N500m, while BOI matched it up with another N500m, totaling N1bn.
The fund, which was to be given out as soft loans, aimed at empowering small businesses in the state to, among other things, enable them process the abundant agricultural products that abound in the state, thereby arresting the colossal post-harvest losses occasioned by lack of crop preservation capacity, is not forthcoming.
Checks by Daily Trust show that months after the disbursement of the loan was officially flagged-off by the Ramalan Yero administration, businesses are yet to get the loans.
Frustrated by the inability to access the loans, small scale business owners have resigned to fate as they do not believe they will get the loan after going through hassles to raise 10% of the initial loans as stated in the terms and conditions.
Daily Trust gathered that some business owners after being assured of getting the loans, borrowed money to pay the 10% thinking the money will come to them immediately so they would pay their creditors.‎
One of the beneficiaries, Madam Tina Simon, who is the Chairperson of Romi Tina Nun-Bla Multi-Purpose Cooperative Limited said she is so frustrated about the whole issue.
“When I was given the offer for the loans, I was so thrilled because I and some other widows formed the cooperative since it was one of the criteria for the loans, I was the one doing all the leg work because I was made the head of that particular cooperative.
“The widows at one point thought I had collected the money and not given them their share because we had to put money together to make up the 10% requirement for the loan which was N100,000 and another N10,000 for membership of the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME).
“The then state government and the BOI kept tossing me from one place to the other before I was finally told that we did not met the criteria for the loan after we had paid N110,000 to them,” she decried.
She noted that she has spent well over N300,000 pursing the loan, adding that she had two different accidents on her way to and from the BOI and the Kaduna State Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism over the N1million loan promised to her and the other women in her cooperative.
She called on the present state government to look into their plight and include them in the new ‎loan provision for SMEs in the state, saying she and her other colleagues have lost a lot of money pursuing the previous loan.
Daily Trust recalls the Managing Director Bank of Industry, Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa, at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) said the pool of funds which would be given out as loans to SMEs operators would help to boost commercial activities in the state.
Apart from helping to empower the people of Kaduna State, the MD also noted that the injection of the fund would have multiplier effect on the people of the state while complementing the poverty reduction programme of the present administration.
He expressed the commitment of the bank to continue to help small businesses not only in the state, but also across the 36 states in the country, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), adding that it is the surest way Nigeria could consolidate its status as the economic hub of Africa.
Meanwhile, all efforts to get reactions from the BOI and Kaduna State government through the state Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism met road blocks. The MD, BOI said he was not in the right position to comment on the issue as the bank was only expected to be involved in disbursing the loans while the state government was responsible for streamlining the successful candidates for the loans.
The commissioner also declined to comment on the issue, saying the loan was flagged off by the previous administration.
A source however in the ministry who confided in our correspondent said the N1 billion loans for small and medium enterprises by the previous administration encountered hitches along the way but the previous administration politicized the whole issue and flagged it off just to gain some points even though they knew the beneficiaries will not get the loans.

Are you currently earning in Naira but need salary/earnings in Dollars? You have an opportunity to earn as much as $10,000 (₦9.2 million naira) monthly. Click here to get evidence.

%d bloggers like this: