Rivers State Launches N4 Billion Loan Scheme to Boost Business Activities

By Jemimah Wellington, JKNMedia Reporter

RIVERS State Governor Siminalayi Fubara, has officially inaugurated the N4 billion matching fund loan scheme aimed at invigorating business operations within the state and fostering wealth creation.

The launch, held at the Dr. Obi Wali International Conference Centre in Port Harcourt, marked the commencement of the disbursement of the Rivers State Government/Bank of Industry (BOI) Limited N4 billion matching fund loan scheme tailored for nano, small, and media-scale enterprises in the state.

Addressing attendees, Fubara stressed the persistent challenge of limited access to credit, which has hindered financial inclusion and impeded individual’s pursuit of economic prosperity.

However, with the establishment of this collaborative initiative between the state government and BOI, Fubara asserted that a viable pathway has been established to foster entrepreneurial success and drive economic advancement across the state.

“We are gathered here today to witness the formal launch and distribution of cheques to 3,0666 micro, small, and medium-scale enterprises, along with 100 companies from all 23 local government areas, including non-indigenous businesses valued at over N3.6 billion,” stated Governor Fubara, expressing satisfaction with the event’s outcome and its potential impact on the State’s economic landscape.

The governor reiterated his commitment, outlined during election campaigns, to bolster entrepreneurial development and business growth through accessible credit facilities in the form of soft loans.

Observing the struggles faced by numerous small-scale businesses in obtaining credit from traditional banks, Fubara emphasized the pivotal role of credit access in driving economic growth, job creation, and income distribution.

Acknowledging the importance of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as key drivers of inclusive economic growth, Fubara highlighted the significant economic contributions expected from over 3,000 MSMEs benefiting from the loan scheme, and emphasised the necessity for loan beneficiaries to repay their loans to ensure the programme’s sustainability and enable future entrepreneurs to access funding for their ventures.

To oversee loan disbursement and ensure full loan recovery, Fubara instructed the management of Rivers State Microfinance Agency (RIMA) to closely monitor the progress of beneficiaries in their business endeavours.

 Strategic partnershio

In his remarks, Dr. Olasupo Olusi, represented by Mr. Usen Effiong, Executive Director of Corporate Services and Commercial at BOI, reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to fostering socioeconomic growth, job creation, and revenue generation in Rivers State through strategic partnerships.

He highlighted BOI’s extensive track record in development financing and its substantial investments in the state, positioning the institution as a vital catalyst for industrialization and economic sustainability in the region.

Pastor Jonathan Tobin, managing director and chief executive officer, MIRA, lauded the collaborative effort to realize the governor’s vision of “Touching Lives, Creating Wealth,” and stressed the scheme’s timeliness amidst economic challenges faced by businesses, citing the scheme’s low-interest rates and borrower-friendly scheme.

The event concluded with the official launch of the loan scheme and the presentation of cheques to successful beneficiaries from various sectors across the 23 local government areas, boosting the state’s commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and economic prosperity.

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