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Published On: Sun, Oct 12th, 2014

Women coalition commend FG over non-collateral loans

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By Stanley Onyekwere

A coalition of 160 multi-purpose women cooperative societies under the aegis of Global Women Association at the weekend commended the Federal Government’s initiative at empowering women to boost their small business without collateral.

 The women said the move by the federal government was a bold and realistic way to combat poverty at the grassroots even as they said the action has engendered more trust between Nigerian lowly women in  the territory and the federal government.

 The women said this against the background of the N220 billion Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) loan for small and medium businesses by the Federal Government.

 National Coordinator of the women group, Mrs. Chinonso Nwachukwu, who  said this at weekend during the formal launching of the group, in Abuja, added that no nation survives without micro businesses, thanked President Goodluck Jonathan, for not politicizing the process. “No nation thrives without small scale business. All successful nations in the world start from somewhere. That is why we are commending Mr. President for taking this positive initiative that will soon drive Nigeria economy.

“But, we must advice that he should not use politicians for this noble exercise because they may hijack the process for their own selfish goal,” she said.

 Nwachukwu, who addressed the community women at the superstar International Academy, Federal Housing, Lugbe, told the women that while the loan is accessible through cooperatives, it is not free cash but a loan that would be revolved.

 She insisted that the bank to which the women will be registering their respective cooperative accounts will be bound to the CBN’s Guide which tasks them to only disbursed cash to competent small scale business operators that have the capacity to pay back in a maximum of  5 years with an interest rate of 9 percent.

 Nwanchukwu said that most of the women engaged in various skill acquisitions need more training and funds to carry out their businesses, adding that the loan when disbursed would be used to enhance their businesses.

 “We have over 160 registered cooperatives in the territory with different skills, but the problem the women are facing is that of funds and packaging of the products. As soon as the CBN loan is disbursed, I can assure you that the women will take their businesses to the next level,” she stressed.

 Nwanchukwu used the occasion to reveal that plans have been concluded to stage Cooperative Fair in Abuja aimed at showcasing the various products of small scale businessmen and women, noting that the proposed fair will open doors for foreign investors in Nigeria.

Various representatives of cooperative societies who came for the interface session expressed confidence in the scheme, assuring that as soon as the loan is disbursed, it will mark the beginning of successful small scale businesses in the country.

 She told the women be committed in repaying their loans as it would enable the  bank to grant them further access to more financial facilities in their businesses.

 Some of the craftworks displayed at the venue were handmade hats, locally made shoes with textile lining, samples of fish pond, locally made detergents and disinfectants as well as various clothes by tailors and fashion designers respectively.

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