FG to grant soft loans to 30,000 traders in Akwa Ibom

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A total of 30, 000 traders in Akwa Ibom will benefit from the federal government’s micro-credit scheme under the first phase of its Social Investment Programme in the state.

The State Focal Person, Social Investment Programme, Ita Okon, disclosed this on Thursday in Uyo at the training of 310 N-Power volunteers that will register the beneficiaries of the scheme.

Mr. Okon said that the programme tagged “Market Moni” was meant to give soft loans to petty traders in the state and boost their volume of trade.

He said that the beneficiaries would be drawn from registered Cooperative Societies in the state, who would be entitled to loans ranging from N10,000 to N50,000 each.

Mr. Okon explained that the beneficiaries were expected to refund the loan at the end of this first phase so as to qualify for the second phase of the scheme.

He further disclosed that the second phase of the loan was pegged at N100, 000 per each beneficiary.

“Akwa Ibom is fortunate to be among the first benefitting states in this pilot scheme,” Mr. Okon said.

Also speaking, the Akwa Ibom Head of Civil Service, Ekereobong Akpan, commended the federal government for initiating programmes aimed at poverty reduction.

Mrs. Akpan, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Investment, Oliver Udokpo, said that any poverty eradication programme was dear to the state government.

“The Social Investment Programme is both a heart and head programme. It is a programme that would get our people out of poverty.

“Permit me to say that a country’s economic development is a function of the number of people living above poverty level.

“I, therefore, call on all the citizens of Akwa Ibom to key into this kind gesture by the federal government and join hands in reducing poverty in our state,” Akpan said.

He said that the state government had already provided manpower, accommodation, vehicles and state coordination office for the programme.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Social Investment Programme of the federal government included the N-Power job programme for unemployed graduates and Home Grown Feeding for primary school pupils.

Other programmes under the scheme are Conditional Cash Transfer, the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) and micro-credit scheme also known as “Market Moni”.

(NAN)

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