The government of Oyo State, led by Seyi Makinde, has announced plans to provide a total of N500 million in loans to traders, artisans, and small business owners. This initiative is part of the Sustainable Actions for Economic Recovery (SAfER) program, which aims to alleviate the impact of subsidy removal on the residents of the state.
Professor Musibau Babatunde, the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning and Chairman of the SME Loan Support sub-committee of the SAfER Program, explained that the loan scheme is intended to stabilize the people and stimulate the economy. The loans will be offered at a single-digit interest rate and come with a flexible repayment plan.
“All categories of micro and small-scale business owners are eligible for this SME loan support,” said Professor Babatunde. He further added, “Interested small and micro-businesses in the state can obtain the application form free of charge from designated Microfinance banks in each of the seven geo-political zones in the state.”
The following Microfinance banks have been designated to facilitate the loan scheme:
1. Full range Microfinance Bank, Old Zenith Bank Building, Iwo Road, Ibadan.
2. Isale Oyo Microfinance Bank, Oyo town.
3. Excel Microfinance Bank, Eruwa.
4. NUT Oke Bola Microfinance Bank, Oke Ado, Ibadan.
5. Caretakers MicroFinance Bank, Caretaker, Ogbomoso.
6. Kadupe Microfinance Bank, Shaki.
7. Ebedi Microfinance Bank, Iseyin.
This initiative by the Oyo State government aims to provide financial support to small businesses and promote economic recovery in the wake of fuel subsidy removal and the floating of the exchange rate, which have resulted in increased commodity prices. By offering accessible loans with favorable interest rates and repayment plans, the government hopes to empower traders, artisans, and small business owners in the state.