From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin
The Kwara State Coalition of Business and Professional Associations (KWACOBPA) has urged the state government to make huge sum of fund available for it members in private sector as revolving loan to boost economy of the state and reduced unemployment.
The Coalition noted that out of the total population of 2,365,353 of Kwara State, the state government only employed 14,500 into civil service leaving others at the mercy of private sector.
KWACOBPA Chairman,Chief Hezekiah Oladipo Adediji who stated this during a press conference on Wednesday in Ilorin said small and medium scales enterprises were not having access to soft loans to expand their businesses and employ the largest unemployed number population of the state.
Adediji said what the coalition want is loan scheme for his members which will involve Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN), that will be monitor and corrupt free, stressing that the loan should be repay with one digit interest rate.
“KWACOBPA believes that the proposed credit scheme will provide more access to finance by SMEs in Kwara State and increase business activities which will in turn translate into more employment, reduction of crime rates and increased revenue for development of the state.
“The scheme will ensure proper registration of Businesses in the State for inclusion in the tax net.”
The Coalition Chairman explained that they would seek for permanent legislation in the state to ensure the loan scheme policy is not jettisoned by new governments for political reasons.
The Coalition which includes 21 professional bodies and business associations noted that in 2012, a German Technical Corporation Agency (GIZ) undertook a comprehensive survey of 685 business entities in five states, Plateau, Oyo, Niger, Kwara and Ogun state.
“The outcome of the Enterprise Baseline Survey (EBS 2012) revealed that in Kwara State,lack of access to finance is the second most critical obstacle to business expansion after power”.
The Coalition lamented over the rate of corruption in micro finance loans to SMS in the state stressing that at a time when N250 million were to disbursed out, less than N100 million were distributed while the remaining disappear along the line.