The Osun State Government on Wednesday disclosed that more that 1,366 individuals have benefited from the N3,247,402 billion soft loans made available under its economic empowerment programme.
In a report obtained by the Bureau of Communications and Strategy, office of the Governor, from the from the Ministry of Commerce and Cooperative, Government said the number represents beneficiaries of the micro credit for the year 2016.
The Bureau, in a statement by the Director, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, said the loans were paid directly to individuals, who belong to registered associations and/or cooperatives societies to ensure credibility as well as facilitate timely repayment.
The micro-credit scheme is is a no-interest loan scheme made available for the development of small and medium scale businesses in the state.
The statement said the loan was targeted at micro-enterprises such as traders, artisans, market men and women and entrepreneurs.
The statement noted that 1, 366 beneficiaries, with average of 15 individuals in a group have benefited from the loans altogether.
It added that more people are expected to benefit this year as government intends to still expand the micro-credit facilities to go round more businesses.
The statement 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 individuals benefitted from the interest-free micro credit of the government, which is aimed at empowering small and budding business enterprises.
“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.