Hajiya Habiba Balarebe-Suleiman, Director-General, Nasarawa State Human Capital Development Agency (NSHCDA), says four entrepreneurs have so far benefitted from the state government’s ₦500 million revolving loan.
Balarebe-Suleiman who made the disclosure at a news conference on Friday in Lafia, said that the revolving loan is real, even as she urged the public to disregard any insinuation to the contrary.
She said that the interaction was aimed at updating the public on the initiative by the state government, in collaboration with Bank of Industry (BOI), geared toward empowering the youth with the funds needed to set up their businesses and be self-reliant.
The director-general said that some new business owners as well as owners of existing businesses had applied through the agency’s portal and submitted business proposals to enable them benefit from the soft loan.
“We received 89 applications for batch A but many of the proposals failed to meet up with conditions of registration of Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
“After thorough screening, only four proposals met the conditions of the scheme and were given between ₦1 million and ₦3 million to support their businesses.
“I can tell you that the businesses that received the support are already doing well and the owners have employees working under them,” she said.
Balarebe-Suleiman further stated that under the agreement, both the state government and the Bank of Industry provided ₦250 million each, adding that the money was being managed by the bank.
She said that the application was done online and that the selection process for beneficiaries was transparent and devoid of any religion, tribunal or political sentiment.
The director-general, therefore, encouraged entrepreneurs to apply and benefit from the initiative, aimed at reducing poverty and engaging the youth in order to make them unavailable for crimes.
On his part, the State Manager of Bank of Industry, Abdullahi Alhaji, said that the bank and the state government had entered into a matching fund agreement, where each of them provided ₦250 million to empower the youth in the state.
He said that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two parties was signed on October 27, 2022 after the state government had remitted its ₦250 million counterpart contribution.
According to him, when a proposal is endorsed by the agency, a panel examines and screens the applicants and forwards the list of successful entrepreneurs to the bank for further scrutiny and possible payment. Alhaji also said that the bank had set machinery in motion to ensure that only qualified applicants benefit, in line with due process.
“We have also perfected the modalities to recover the loans given out to enable many other owners of businesses benefit from the loan,” he added.