The Osun Micro-credit Agency has further given a breakdown on how its N3.2bn loan scheme has impacted on more than 20,000 small businesses in the last year, 2016.
The General Manager of the agency, Mr. Babaranti, while giving a breakdown on Thursday in Osogbo, said the over 20,000 beneficiaries of the loan scheme came under the 1,366 cooperative groups which applied for and got loans from the agency in the year under review.
According to the General Manager, the cooperative groups with the least number of members out of the 1,366 had 15 members.
“If you sum up this, with the least groups having 15 members, you will agree that conservatively put, we have recorded over 20,000 beneficiaries in 2016,” Babaranti stated.
Babaranti added that in addition to the over 20,000, 321 Small and Medium Enterprises were also funded while a total of 205 individuals applied and got loans through the same scheme.
Before Thursday’s breakdown by the agency boss, the government had on Wednesday said that more people are expected to benefit this year, 2017, as government intends to still expand the micro-credit facilities to go round more businesses.
The statement by the Bureau of Communication had said, “This government is poised to make sure that its small and medium scale businesses are developed roundly for the economic growth of the state.
“This was while last year alone, 1, 366 cooperative groups benefitted from the interest-free micro credit of the government, which is aimed at empowering small and budding business enterprises. With each cooperative group having at least a membership strength of 15, that would tell you that well over 20,000 businesses have been impacted on.
“For the ease of doing business, Government has made the loan interest-free. This will help the repayment of only the principal alone.
“Government has thus taken up the burden of paying the interest on the loan.”
The statement advised that loans be judiciously utilized by the beneficiaries.
Government also promised to continue the financial assistance as more beneficiaries would be targeted in the new year as well.