…Obaseki committed to improving socio- economic well-being of citizens- Felix Akhabue
The Edo state Government has given reasons why it had to put it’s micro credit finance scheme on hold.
According to the State Commissioner for Wealth Creation, Mr. Felix Akhabue, the programme which was put in place to make funds easily accessible to the people to boost their business and economic activities was suspended by Governor Godwin Obaseki, because a lot of people who benefitted failed to pay back the loan.
Mr Akhabue disclosed this at a Town Hall meeting organised by Concerned Ekpoma Eminent Stakeholders Forum CEESF at Ekpoma event center weekend.
In the words of Akhabue “the Edo State Government disbursed a sum of 2 billion Naira as soft loans to the people of the state under the medium and micro credit finance scheme. You know if you go to a regular bank to obtain loan you will be expected to pay 25 to 28 percent interest rate. But the micro credit scheme of the Edo State government is a place where you are expected to pay 9 percent. “
Akhabue said, “There is no gainsaying the fact that the challenges facing governments of most states across the federation , Edo state inclusive , is that of poverty reduction.
“The government is fully conscious of this fact and had therefore, not relented in putting in place various poverty reduction programmes including micro credit loans for the benefit of our people, all aimed at improving their socio- economic well-being.”
“He said it is a well known the fact that the people of the state are very hardworking and highly productive. “
The major handicap to realizing their full potential is porsity of fund to finance their various developmental and trade projects.
” It is in view of this that the present administration under the able leadership of Governor Godwin Obaseki, placed high emphasis on the provision of such loans to the people of the State .
The Commissioner said to ensure that the programme does not go the way of similar programmes initiated by government in the past, Micro Finance Banks banks such as Uda Micro Finance Bank were designated to manage the disbursement and repayment of the micro-credit funds.
He said while Uda and a few others were able to repay the loan placed in its portfolio, others could not.
“I will therefore continue to urge the beneficiaries of this loan to be faithful to its terms and conditions to ensure sustainability of the scheme.”
He however said the government was finding ways of addressing the challenge because the state Governor has absolute faith in the success of the programme once loan recovery modalities are worked out.
Speaking at the occasion the Convener of the Concerned Ekpoma Eminent Stakeholders forum Comrade Obasanmi Jude said the program was organised to strengthen cooperation between past and serving political office holders with a view to bringing dividends of democracy to the people.