SMEs: 70,000 Kwarans empowered with N1.3bn in 6yrs

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By Mike Adeyemi

Since inception of the Bureau of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Kwara State government in 2012, a cumulative sum of N1.4billion has been expended on the scheme, Pilot Business has learnt.

This was disclosed by the state Executive Chairman of the Bureau, Mr. Olusegun Soewu during an interview with Pilot Business on Saturday.

According to him, the state government launched the initiative with N250 million to ensure the sustainability of the finance scheme.

“Owing to the success recorded in the utilisation of the first N250 million, the executive governor  at a point instructed the then Special Adviser on Labour Matters to properly group traders and artisans in the state so  that they can access  the facility, he explained.

He further disclosed that by October 2013, another sum of N100 million was released to the Artisan Congress of the state.

Giving a breakdown, the SMEs coordinator said “By November 2013, a sum of N50 million was released for the purchase of 100 taxis which of course were given out in January. By April, 2014 a sum of N214 million was released to kick start the off takers demand driven scheme.

“In  2015, a lot of people were given vehicles under the tax scheme, which they have been paying back, as I speak, 90 per cent has been recovered. So the e governor was encouraged by  that to add some taxis to it, so by February/March 2015, he added another set of 50 taxis.

“The joint Okada rider groups in Kwara state were also empowered with 193 bikes at the sum of N25.09 million, during that period we gave 25 mini buses and we continue like that. By July, 2016, his Excellency released about N64 million for Agric.

“By October, we had some monies at the Bank of Industry, about N160 million to support those who requested for 1.2 million loan. Some selected women and youths were given N 90 million across the state.

“So far, we have expended N1.3 billion in the scheme with a turnover of about N3.6 billion in terms of revolving these monies.”

He added that the economy of the state have been boosted through the disbursement of the fund, which were channelled through 16 micro finance banks in the state.

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