Agency report

The Federal Government on Sunday said that 1.2 million Nigerians would be given microloans at two or three per cent interest rate as part of efforts to create jobs under its social investment programme.

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Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, made this known in Abuja on Sunday.

He said that the Federal Government was synergizing with its enterprise agencies with the private sector to achieve the goal.

He named the agencies as the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Bank of Industry (BOI), Bank of Agriculture, the National Directorate of Employment(NDE), among others.

“About 1.2 million Nigerians are going to be given soft loans, may be at two or three per cent, loans of N20,000 to N50,000, N100,000 for traders and Nigerians that have small businesses.

“We are going to be using co-operatives. So all these groups mentioned will be working together because we believe small and medium enterprises are very critical to the recovery and rejuvenation of the economy.

“We are working to design all kind of intervention financial facilities, since Nigerians cannot access this kind of affordable loans in the main banking sector.

“We will be using the intervention funds to release money to small and medium scale enterprises so that they can trade with the money.’’

Akande said that the Federal Government was hoping to do more for Nigerians using the intervention fund as part of its social investment programme.

He also added that government would continue to deploy resources through these agencies to actively boost social investment programmes.