The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it had set aside ₦220 billion to be disbursed as loans to cooperative organisations under the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF).
Mr. Isaac Okorafor, Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, announced the plan while addressing newsmen in Gombe today during the bank’s programme on Promoting Financial Stability and Economic Development.
He said the loan was set specifically aside to encourage artisans like vulcanisers, hairdressers, barbers, and many others whose businesses create jobs for others. “If you empower this group of people, the economy will move faster because they will also employ others,” he said.
According to him, people in this category oftentimes are discouraged to apply for loans from commercial banks due to the high interest rate and their inability to meet the stringent conditions for such loans including collateral.
“This is the reason why we made the provision for this loan for them to access through their cooperative organisations. All they need to do is to open an account with a bank, operate it for some time and apply,” he said, adding that “the loan is without collateral and the interest is only nine per cent.”
Okorafor also called on the youth to embrace farming activities and make money from it. “In CBN, we do not give grant to people, but we show you the way to follow and make money,” he said.
In his presentation, Mr Oludaramola Atanda, Assistant Director, Consumers Protection Department at the apex bank, added that customers should know their right to be served better by their banks. Atanda implored them to always report any case of strange transactions concerning their account. He, however, urged them to desist from giving their ATM pin and BVN numbers to others, because they could be defrauded.