18 cooperatives societies across six states in the federation have gotten four Million naira loan each to boost their businesses. This disbursement is under the One Local Government, One Product (OLOP) initiative of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of the Nigeria(SMEDAN). At the tripartite Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing with Disbursement Managers, Microfinance Banks (MFBs) and the cooperatives In Abuja recently, the Director General of SMEDAN Dr Umaru Dikko Radda, said the loan was interest free. They are to pay back the loan after 18 months after a moratorium of Six months. And they are paying only 70% of what we gave them. 30 % is part of government’s efforts to help the small businesses to develop their businesses to a higher capacity. It is part of the governments Initiative through SMEDAN to provide a relieve of 30% of the loan to the beneficiaries.” Radda said.
He said with this disbursement, the OLOP programme would have reached the 109 senatorial districts in Nigeria and has the target to reach ,The 774 local government areas of the federation by year 2020.
Representative of the Amuyo Co-operative from Kwara state, Mrs Ojomu Funke, expressed her delight over the gesture.“ They have given us Four million naira. The money is going to be used to develop our Project.
“We wants to use the money to buy the equipment to make semovita and Poundo yam. We were doing it in small-scale before but as they empower us now, we will buy the equipment and the raw materials and we will do it in a large scale.” Ojomu said.
The representative of the Microfinance banks and MD of the Mwaghaval Microfinance Bank Ltd in Plateau state Mr Simon Lawan, said the Initiative has opened more doors to the microfinance banks and helped to widen their customer base.
The OLOP programme is the initiative of the agency in which each local Government identifies a valuable local resource in which it has Competitive and comparative advantage and SMEDAN helps to develop it.