The sum of N1.8bn loan facility secured by Edo State Government from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF) may already be yielding dividends as new opportunities are opening for beneficiaries to sustain themselves in gainful employment.
It would be recalled that Edo state Government had last year with the assistance of the world bank provided loans with little interest rate to boost the business of deserving SMEs in the State.
The loan facility, secured under the Chairmanship of Mr Godwin Obaseki at the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), was a product of the economic team’s policies under former governor, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole.
Beneficiaries across the three senatorial districts in the state described the initiative by the state Government as impressive and laudable because it enabled them to become financially independent with a stable economic base.
Mr Akinmeji Segun James, who is CEO of Meseg Capital Investment in Edo south, disclosed that his business, which trained people in Fishery also engaged in farm settlements based on consultations.
Akinmeji revealed that the facility provided by the State Government had created new avenues for his enterprise to expand and improve in new ways, as well as employ labour.
Despite the initial funds deployed as capital, Akinmeji noted that he had been able to stabilise his business with the help of the low interest loan, and had secured uninterrupted power and constant supply of oxygen for his fingerlings.
“I started with only my wife and now we have about 8 staff members, who run shifts daily, including technicians, and who are all on our payroll. With the profits from this loan, we have been able to acquire our land with Certificate of Occupancy. This loan has enabled me to achieve, within this short time, what could not have been possible for me and my wife in the next 150 years working in the bank,” he disclosed.
Meanwhile, Mr Isaac Babatope enthused that he had been able to found his own printing press called Babatope Printing Press International, of which he was the Managing Director, and that speed and delivery is now the slogan.
“The scheme is not about ‘godfatherism’ preference was shown to anybody. Edo State Government gave me this loan with low interest rate and now I have, polar 92 cutting machine, computers, printing machines”.
He continued that he only had a partner before receiving the loan, but three other people had since joined, under remunerative employment, while he was able to deliver promptly because he now had machinery.
For his part, Job Adedoyin, who was into pig farming, disclosed that his staff number had increased, courtesy the loan, while he had been able to combat sanitation challenges more effectively.
He however called on the Government to provide more facilities to encourage others to join the business.