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FG plans soft loan of 3% maximum for 1.2m Nigerians next year

There are fresh plans by the federal government to empower at least 1.2 million Nigerians with soft loans which is designed to attract between two and three per cent interest rate. This is part of efforts to create jobs under government’s social investment programme.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande revealed this in an interview with journalists in Abuja.

He said government is currently synergizing with enterprise agencies and the private sector to achieve the goal.

Some of the agencies involved in the deal include the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Bank of Industry (BOI), Bank of Agriculture, the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), among others.

Akande noted that “About 1.2 million Nigerians are going to be given soft loans, may be at two or three per cent, loans of N20,000 to N50,000, N100,000, the traders, for people that have small businesses.

“We are going to be using co-operatives, so all these groups mentioned will be working together because we believe small and medium enterprises are very critical to the recovery and rejuvenation of the economy.

“So, we are working to design all kind of intervention financial facilities since we are not getting the kind of affordable loans in the main banking sector.

He said that government was using the intervention funds to release money to small and medium scale enterprises so that they can trade with the money at very little interest rate.

He said that the Federal Government was hoping to do more for Nigerians using the intervention fund as part of its social investment programme.

According to him, the SMEDAN, BOI, Bank of Agriculture, NDE, others had been harnessed to provide such support.