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Mama-put operators, onion sellers, barbers, others to get loans without collateral in Rivers — Gov. Wike

Small business owners in Rivers State are to benefit from a N2billion micro-credit scheme without necessarily providing collateral, Governor Nyesom Wike has said.

The governor  said the state government will serve as a collateral  for the small business owners so they can play  more positive  roles in the economic  recovery of the state.

Mr. Wike assured the less privileged in the state that his administration will  take concrete steps to empower them through  micro-credit schemes that will grow small and medium scale businesses  across the state.

Flagging off the N2billion Rivers State Micro,Small, and Medium Scale Entreprises Development Fund in Port Harcourt on Saturday,  Governor Wike said the project, being funded through  a facility from the Central Bank of Nigeria, would  assist  small businesses with capital.

According to him, his administration  would ensure  that  the  conditions  for issuing  the loans by the Rivers State Micro Finance Agency, RIMA, was friendly  enough  for small and medium sized businesses to have access to  funds. 

He said: “The aim of this empowerment programme  is to  reach the mama-put operator, the onion seller, the barber, the table water manufacturer and  owners of medium sized  businesses  for them to expand, employ more people  and grow the state economy. 

“With the  present reality, it is no longer feasible  to  rely solely on oil revenue.  Therefore, my administration  will ensure  that these businesses  have access to funds without  stringent conditions. This is the first batch.  Those not accommodated in this batch will be accommodated in the second  batch”.

The governor  added that his administration would also extend credit facilities  to farmers in the state to enable them expand production and  empower a greater percentage  of the people. 

Governor Wike said  the  N2billion  fund would be administered judiciously, pointing  out  that it would not be handled the way the Rotimi Amaechi  administration treated a similar facility. 

In his remarks,  the chairman  of  RIMA,  Austin Opara, said the Wike administration sourced the N2billion  for the purpose of empowering the less privileged.  

He said  the  fund would be disbursed through three micro-finance banks. He appealed to beneficiaries  to repay their loans so that the revolving  scheme  would be sustained. 

TherRepresentative of the CBN, Chinedu Zephaniah, assured the Rivers State government  of the support  and  cooperation of the bank to ensure  the  success of  the scheme. 

The state government later organised a seminar  for beneficiaries of the scheme from the 23 Local Government Areas of the State. 

The seminar was  titled “Actualizing the New Vision on Food Security, Entrepreneurship development, poverty reduction and job creation in Rivers State.”

Gove. Wike 1

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