The State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Nsikan Nkan has charged financial institutions in the State to forge strong alliance with government to stimulate economic and commercial activities across the State.
The Commissioner gave the charge in Uyo while addressing representatives of participating Micro Finance banks (MFB) during a meeting to review status of disbursement and recovery of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Small and medium enterprises(SME) loan.
Mr. Nkan opined that as indigenous banks, the micro finance institutions have stakes in the State’s socio-economic development and should therefore key into poverty alleviation agenda of the present administration by making credit facilities accessible to prospective micro entrepreneurs.
Reiterating the determination of the Udom Emmanuel-led administration to turn around the fortunes of the State through the promotion of small and medium scale businesses, the Commissioner asserted that State government’s participation in the loan scheme was to ensure financial inclusion of the people across board especially the disadvantaged at the grassroots in furtherance of its cardinal principle of wealth creation and employment generation.
He acknowledged MFB as integral part of SME, and urged them to strengthen their supervision and monitoring networks to guard against diversion of the funds for purposes other than start-up and expansion of business ventures. Nkan also enjoined them to fashion out a framework that would enhance loan recovery to enable more people to benefit from the revolving loan.
While reaffirming partnership commitment of government with Banks in State, the Finance Boss assured that those who meet the job benchmark would be accorded more consideration in subsequent phases of the scheme. Some of the bankers who spoke during the meeting thanked the State government for making them worthy channels for distribution of the loan.
They noted that funding has always been a major impediment to the growth of SME sub-sector,and lauded the present administration for coming to the aid of thousands of loan seekers.
They pledged to double their efforts toward the realization of the aims and objectives of the micro credit scheme while also soliciting government’s intervention in the provision of machinery to facilitate loan repayment by beneficiaries. More than eight thousand indigenes across the thirty one local government area of the State have been empowered in the first and second phases of the scheme.
Also present were Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs Eme-ete Imuk as well as Directors in the Ministry.