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ASBA Begins Disbursement Of N1billion Loans

Willie Obiano
Posted: Jun 25, 2016 at 6:24 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Chukwujekwu Ilozue

Awka – The Anambra State Government Friday flagged off the disbursement of N1billion to small business enterprises through the Anambra State Small Business Agency (ASBA).

The agency, according to its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Clement Chukwuka, is encouraged to go ahead with the loans because the N1billion Small and Medium  Enterprises loans granted last year “have almost zero default rate as no obligor has defaulted in their monthly repayment  obligation”.

He said at the flag-off of Anambra farming season at Umunze in Orumba South Local Council that what was being disbursed was N500million being the first tranche of the N1billion single digit interest loan facility, recently received  from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

According to him, beneficiaries have been carefully screened to reflect government major pillars of economic development in agriculture, industries, trade and commerce and logistics while ensuring that no local government is left behind in producing beneficiaries.

Chukwuka said an estimated 15,000 micro credit beneficiaries are expected to benefit from the scheme and that the fund is distributed at the ratio of 60 percent and 40 percent to females and males respectively.
Each beneficiary will get N500,000.00 while a 10-member cooperative society will get N5million depending on the nature of business he or she is embarking upon.

Most importantly, he said, the loans are targeted at empowering the grassroots with cheaper funding to grow their businesses.

In addition to this, he continued, ASBA had concluded arrangement to ensure that its 250 youths trained at Mgbakwu Agricultural Farm Settlement and their counterparts from Science and Technology incubation centre, Nnewi, were assisted to become future employers of labour using structured and creative financing mechanism, in collaboration with their respective ministries.

“Most of them are beneficiaries in the firm phase,” he said.
Chukwuka said that the second phase was taking off with over 600 beneficiaries comprising of over 55 cooperatives and 68 stand alone entrepreneurs.

According to him,  “given the success of the scheme, plans are under way to hold SME/Micro Credit Trade Fair in conjunction with Standard Organization of Nigeria in the last quarter of this year.”
Also, ASBA is to establish Entrepreneurship and Business Academy where capacity building in different areas will be taught while certification courses will be held for artisans in conjunction with relevant ministries.

“Soon, too, Governor Willie Obiano will flag off Anambra Shoe and other leather products industrial park at Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, Ogbunike by Nkwelle-Ezunaka junction.
A total of 1000 shops will be constructed on the two hectres of land,” he said.