By Stanley Onyekwere
In furtherance of efforts to eradicate poverty, the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) launched a sustainable interest free revolving loan facility for residents across all the twleve Wards of the Council.
Our correspondent reports that the loan scheme which is designed in batches, kicked off with the disbursement of N40,000 and N50,000 respectively to no fewer than 120 women, with a 6-month window to return the funds.
Performing the unveiling of the loan facility recently, AMAC Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu Candido revealed that the scheme will be facilitated and operated by the AMAC Microfinance Bank Ltd, one of the Council’s business outfits.
Candido cautioned the beneficiaries not to see the disbursed funds as handouts, but empowerment tool for impacting on their business, urging them to embrace the scheme and ensure that it works.
“What we are asking for the beneficiaries to be more concerned with the little businesses they do, believing in God that within a little time, they will be on their own. So we are taking people out of poverty, by trying to teach them how to catch fish, instead of giving fish.
“And our desire to continue finding ways and means of eradicating poverty among our women in particular, being the custodians of our homes.
“We believe that when we are able to take some of them out of this situation, we are helping the society to be independent, instead of being dependent unnecessarily on little thing that may not even be of assistance,” he stressed.
On the sustainability of the scheme: Candido explains” we are going to sustain it effectively. For instance, the 120 beneficiaries are the first batch, and in the next six months we are coming to ensure that after the loan has been given back , then we look for additional men.
“In this next six months, if you ask of thesevpeople, they who have been already getting stabilised, so we will get another additional men and continue with them, this is how we intend to do it, until the last day of my tenure.”
He therefore urged stakeholders to ensure the successful operation of the scheme, as it’s one of the legacies that his administration want to leave behind for the people.
Also, in his remarks, Managing Director, AMAC mfb, Barrister Michael Nzegwu, noted that the loan facility is to make sure that it bridges gap to accessing finance especially in micro economic areas, thereby empowering people especially to be able to do specific economic activities across twelve wards within the Council.
He opined that it is a pilot test of the scheme, starting with Karshi and about two other Wards, as it’s supposed to be a revolving loan facility across all the AMAC Wards.
“What we intend to do is to make sure that the first batch of recipients (beneficiaries of this scheme) will have access to this funds, and afterwards, it revolves. Because it should be able to empower them to do their business. And when they pay back, other people who are next in line should also have access to finance.
“It’s something that is going to be revolving, and continuous, so it’s not a one-stop thing, so that eventually everybody will have a touch and feel of what the AMAC Chairman wants to do,” he explained.
Not left out, some of the beneficiaries while thanking Candido for the gesture, noted that even though they don’t deserve it, but because of his love and the way he wants to improve lives of AMAC women.
They said: “We are not taking this for granted and we promise that we are not going to let you down, we are not going to fail you.
“And at the appropriate time or even before it, the money will be returned back for us to seek for more.”