Kano Empowers 20,000 SMEs with N2bn

OrderPaperToday – The Kano State Government has set aside the sum of N2billion to empower no fewer than 20,000 small and medium enterprises across the 44 local government areas of the state.

The State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje who made the disbursement on Wednesday at a grand occasion held at the Government House in Kano, described the event as a milestone in the quest of his administration to uplift the living standard of the people through entrepreneurial development.

“This occasion organized for the distribution of N2 billion micro-credit to about 20, 000 qualified beneficiaries across the 44 local government areas of the state is about laying a solid foundation for building up micro enterprises to small, medium and large enterprises in our effort towards ensuring sustainable economic development in our dear state” the governor stated, according to a statement by Salihu Tanko Yakasai, head of communications in Government House.

Specifically he mentioned that in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s policy, the government has ensured that not less than 60% of the beneficiaries of this micro-credit loan is made up of women entrepreneurs.

Governor Ganduje added: “This shall be a great fulfillment of our promise of enhancing the welfare of the good people of Kano State, especially emancipating them from the shackles of poverty  and putting them on a  path of wealth creation and sustainable economic empowerment”.

Expressing high optimism the loans would propel economic transformation, the governor maintained that since “the scheme is about channeling the micro-credit through our microfinance banks, it is envisaged that it will not take long before these banks and their beneficiaries grow up from bottom to top in the Nigerian economy and beyond”.

On the viability of the state-owned micro-finance banks, he lamented that when he took over the mantle of leadership of the state, 37 were about to be sold at give-away prices, stressing that “the buyers were not even available because of the devastating position of their capital base, corporate governance, management and other parameters of valuing financial institutions”.

He, however, pointed out that the state Micro-finance Agency, KASMA has now been transformed, assuring that the capital base of its banks would be strengthened though various equity financing models.

“As the 45 micro-finance banks are set to distribute the two billion Naira micro-credit facility to the beneficiaries, I urge their directors and managers to be determined for effective recovery of the amount loaned to their customers, while they work hard to enhance the profitability and liquidity of the Banks”, he asserted.

The governor also tasked them to shield themselves against the vagaries of fraud, irregularities and other unbecoming inequities capable of eroding their capital, goodwill and other fundamentals.

Governor Ganduje expressed the hope that once the reform measures on the micro-finance banks are completed, and the micro-credit scheme gains ground, the MSMEs sector will become a vibrant tool in the administration’s total fight against unemployment, hopelessness, poverty, and hunger among the teeming population.

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