Gov Fubara Presents N3.6b For 3,066 Msmes As He Launches Loan Scheme

Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara has presented cheques valued at N3.6 billion to 3,066 micro, small and medium-scale enterprises and 100 companies drawn from the 23 local government areas of the state including non-indigenes.

Governor Fubara made the presentation at the flag-off and commencement of Rivers State Government/BOI N4billion Matching fund loan scheme for SMEs at the Obi Wali International Conference Centre, Port Harcourt on Friday.

The governor pointed out that it could only be imagined the economic value and impact the over 3000 beneficiary MSMEs will add to the positive economic dynamics of the State and the local government areas in terms of gross domestic product, increased tax returns, employment creation, income distribution and production of goods and services.

Governor Fubara noted that credit support to the small businesses is the best approach to entrepreneurial success and enabler of economic prosperity of the people.

He restated his passion for businesses in the state especially the small ones, which he saw on assumption of office that they were struggling and some closed down due to lack of access to credit, which only banks can provide at cut throat interest rates.

While pointing out that as a State there cannot be economic growth without stimulating business activities to create wealth and jobs through policies that will engender greater public access to credit and financial inclusion, the governor also emphasised that MSMEs are well known as critical drivers of inclusive economic growth and development.

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“By empowering our people to cultivate available economic opportunities, access to credit is a powerful tool for achieving financial security and prosperity.”

“This was why we allocated substantial funds in our 2024 budget to support entrepreneurial development and growth of small and medium-scale businesses in the State.”

“To translate the budgetary provisions to reality, we agreed with the BOI to jointly set up a four-billion-naira (N4,000,000,000.00) naira matching loan fund with both parties contributing two billion (N2,000,000,000.00) each to the Fund, which has since been established and ready for disbursement to the beneficiaries.”

Governor Fubara therefore charged the Bank of Industry to grant more credit opportunities and business support funds to more Rivers entrepreneurs to establish and expand their businesses.

He implored the beneficiary MSMEs to use the opportunity provided by the loan to grow their businesses, expand into new ventures, hire more hands, and even aspire to become bigger in your businesses.

“It is important to make it clear that this is a very liberal loan, not given as a charity, and therefore, must be paid back so that some others, including your relations, friends, neighbours, and even your enemies can also access it to fund their businesses because the Fund belongs to all.”

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The governor commended the Bank of Industry and the management of the Rivers State Microfinance Agency for consummating the financial partnership arrangement and expressed satisfaction with the professional approach in disbursing the loan, believing even more strongly that the potential outcome will be greater to further strengthen and cultivate it for the benefit of the people of Rivers State.

He also charged the management of RIMA to monitor the progress of the beneficiaries in their businesses and ensure a 100 per cent recovery of the loans to guarantee the sustainability of the programme

“I assure you that I will continue to support the scheme to enable Rivers people to take control of their financial circumstances and ensure that they overcome the present state of despair to economic security for themselves and their families.”

Earlier, the Managing Director of Rivers State Microfinance Agency, Pastor Jonathan Tobin applauded the governor for initiating the programme which is intended to “Touch lives and Create Wealth” for Rivers people.

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He noted that due to the passion of the governor towards revamping the small and medium-scale businesses in the state the governor insisted on a single digit interest rate on the loan scheme which amounts to 7.5% per annum on a reducing balance.

On his part, the Managing Director of Bank of Industry, Dr. Olasupo Olusi, thanked the governor for the opportunity to be part of the scheme and assured that the Bank is ever disposed to further drive the socioeconomic development of the state, by supporting to create jobs for the teeming youths in order to check insecurity and improve the state’s internally generated revenue.