Ogun State Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Kikelomo Longe has called on beneficiaries of the zero-interest loan from the FCMB SheVentures, to repay the loan as stipulated in the agreement, to enable more women in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), benefit.
Mrs. Longe made the call during the presentation of cheques to women beneficiaries at the 2020 Women Entrepreneurship Day, organised by the Office of the Wife of the Ogun State Governor, in collaboration with FCMB SheVentures, at Conference Hotel, Abeokuta.
She stated that the loan which ranges from N500,000 to N5m was facilitated by the Office of the Wife of the Governor, noting that it should be seen as a seed that must be well utilised, to improve their businesses towards cushioning the negative effect of COVID-19 pandemic.
“Beneficiaries of this zero-interest loan should use it to grow their businesses. It is a zero-interest loan and not a grant. When beneficiaries repay the loan, it will further make a case for more women to secure loans through this platform”, she said.
The Commissioner noted that her Ministry would continue to build a stronger partnership with FCMB SheVentures, to ensure that more women entrepreneurs in the State are empowered in terms of access to capital and capacity building, stressing that empowering women would help in lifting more Nigerians out of poverty and bring about the actualization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
She lauded the lender for providing the facility, especially at the period when businesses need capital to grow, calling on the organisation to continue to support women entrepreneurs through access to capital and capacity building programmes.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Industry, Trade and Investment, Ms. Sola Arobieke lauded the contribution of SheVentures, for supporting Ogun women in business, despite the pandemic and different challenges that have threatened the global economy in the year.
The Executive Director, Business Development, FCMB, Mrs. Bukola Smith, said the bank is focused on empowering women, as it is a catalyst to sustainable development, job creation and poverty reduction.
She added that those empowered were selected based on certain criteria, adding that the financial institution would continue to provide the necessary support to all the beneficiaries to ensure their success, as well as provide more of such loans to women entrepreneurs.
Speaking on behalf of other beneficiaries, Mrs. Cynthia Saka appreciated the organisation for coming to their aid, assuring that they would not disappoint in the repayment of the loan.
Wale Osunbiyi & Ismail Oladipo,
Press Officers, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment