Ekiti State Government has commenced the disbursement of N500 million Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) loan to the beneficiaries.
The N500 million is the first tranche of the N2 billion the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) earmarked for the support of small and medium scale enterprises (SMSE) in the state.
The State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, who disclosed this in Ado-Ekiti during a meeting with the management of Community and Micro-Finance Banks in the State said the 4,564 beneficiaries will get minimum of N50,000 and maximum of N1 million.
He said the banks will serve as medium of disbursing the loans to beneficiaries.
The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, said in a statement that the governor will meet beneficiaries of the loan later in the week.
The governor promised the loans would not to go down the drain like as was the case in the past, adding that the state government stood as surety for the beneficiaries.
“I am happy to let the good people of Ekiti know that the first tranche of N500 million has been given to the state from the N2 billion we are expecting to help SMES grow in our state. The release of the remaining sum is predicated on how well this first payment is utilised.
“On the part of the state government, we will ensure that beneficiaries utilise the loan judiciously. This is not going to be seen as a largesse from the government or the so-called national cake. Beneficiaries will be adequately monitored, as the state government is the one that guaranteed the loan.
“On the part of the disbursing banks, that is Community and Micro-Finance Banks, we are giving them adequate warning that anyone that fails to live up to expectations will be punished. There is no room for any shady deal. We want a judicious use of the funds for the economic growth of our dear state,” he said.
Meanwhile, the government has set up a monitoring and recovery team to ensue beneficiaries would not default in repayment.
A representative of management of community and micro-finance banks in the state and the Managing Director of Ikole Community Bank, Mr. Famoroti Oluwatoyin, pledged their readiness to ensure the success of the exercise.