<<< By Terver Akase >>>
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom says his administration has waived its 5% yearly interest on the N2 billion loan the State Government recently signed with Bank of Industry, BOI, to enable beneficiaries access the loans at only 5% interest rate.
Governor Ortom made this known today at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi, during the inauguration of the Steering Committee for the Implementation and Management of the N2 billion Benue State Government – Bank of Industry MSME Matching Fund.
He said the decision of the present administration to revamp the economy was in view of the fact that micro, small and medium enterprises are the engine of accelerated economic growth, employment generation and wealth creation, stating that the partnership with BOI was one of the several measures employed by the government.
“The Memorandum that we have signed with the Bank of Industry requires our Government to provide N1 billion which will equally be matched by the bank and disbursed to potential beneficiaries in the state, especially in the area of agro-processing, agro-services and related areas. This commitment has come with a lot of sacrifices on the part of the State as the Government”, he stated.
Governor Ortom gave assurance that as Chairman of the Steering Committee, he would ensure transparency in the loan procedures and monitor its implementation in line with approved guidelines.
“You will recall that in 2015, the previous administration accessed a similar loan of N2 billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria which was blatantly diverted into private pockets, leaving the state with a huge debt to offset. I can assure you that this will not happen during my administration. It is for this purpose that I have constituted a Steering Committee headed by myself to oversee the implementation and management of the fund, he stressed.
The Steering Committee which has Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Tersoo Kpelai as alternate Chairman is, in addition to overseeing the implementation and management of the loan, sensitize and enlighten stakeholders in the state, develop the modalities for selection of beneficiaries among other responsibilities.