The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is set to disburse the sum of N220 billion to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and cooperatives organisations in Nigeria.
Director, Corporate Communications Departments of CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, disclosed this to newsmen in Gombe yesterday during the bank’s sensitisation programme on Promoting Financial Stability and Economic Development.
He said the loan which was tagged Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF) was set aside to encourage people who are employers of labour in small businesses like vulcanizers, hair dressing, barbing etc.
“If you empower these group of people, the economy will grow faster because they will as well employ and train others,’’ he said.
He also said the bank decided to disburse the loan through cooperative associations, because they were discouraged to apply for the loan due to lack of collateral.
“This is the reason why we decided to make the provision for this loan for people to access through their cooperatives organizations by opening an account with a bank, operate for some time and then apply.”
He disclosed that the loan is collateral free and the interest rate is only 9 percent. Okorafor then advised the youth and women to take advantage of the gesture and embrace farming as a business to enable them become self-reliant.
“In CBN we do not give grant to people, but we show you the way to follow and get money,” he said
In his presentation, assistant director Consumers Protection Department (CBN), Mr Oludaramola Atanda, said customers should know that they have the right to satisfactory services by their banks and other banks.
While warning the participants to desist from giving their ATM pin and BVN numbers to a second party to avoid being defrauded, he urged them to promptly report any case of strange transaction into their account.
Our correspondent reports that thousands of people, majority of whom are women, erroneously attended the over-crowded event which took place at international hotel Gombe, following false speculations that officials of the apex bank were sharing the late Abacha’s loot.
Our correspondent also gathered that hundreds of the people that overwhelmed the staff of the bank came in from neighboring communities to the state capital with the hope of enjoying the largesse.
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