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The Nasarawa State Government and the Bank of Industry have set aside N500 million to be distributed as loans to state residents in an effort to support the micro, small, and medium firms in the state’s 13 Local Government Areas.

The BOI also made a donation of N250 million, which the state government had also approved as a counterpart for the Youth Revolving Funds Scheme.

Senior Special Assistant to Governor Abdullahi Sule on Human Capital Development, Habiba Balarabe-Suleiman stated during the screening of loan applicants on Friday in Lafia that the goal of approving the fund was to provide money to youths in the state for the launch or growth of their businesses.

She said, “Today’s screening is part of the process of the N500 million Youth Revolving Funds Scheme. We look at business plans that are found viable and review the amounts requested.

“This is to ensure that we give the loans to deserving applicants who are ready to boost their businesses and pay back the loans at the appropriate time.”

The SSA who explained that over 200 indigenes would benefit from the approved sum in the first phase, added that the loans would be given to successful applicants immediately after the screening and verification exercises.

“In the next two to three weeks, we should be able to do our first disbursement. We will give the loans to people who can pay them back so that we can also disburse them for the second round.

The beneficiaries are over 200 for each round, and the whole scheme is for five years. So, many people will benefit from the gesture of the state government and the BOI,” she added.

Also speaking, the Nasarawa State Manager of BOI, Abdullahi Alhaji, said the partnership was to encourage youths in the state to become entrepreneurs and employers of labour.

“The loans will be administered at a single-digit interest rate with a tenor of between 3-5 years. The beneficiaries will come from the Manufacturing and processing; ICT; Digital Marketing and E-commerce; Transportation; Creative industry and Entertainment; Agribusiness; Healthcare and Fitness sectors, among others.” he added.

Alhaji thanked the Nasarawa state government for making youth empowerment a priority and urged any potential recipients to use the monies wisely if chosen.

While thanking the state government and BOI for the chance, one of the prospective beneficiaries who spoke on behalf of the others, Daniel Abraham, expressed satisfaction with the screening process and pledged to utilize the money wisely if given the loans.