The Oyo State Government in Nigeria has begun monitoring the beneficiaries of its N500 million (approximately $1.3 million) Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (SME) Loan Support program.
The loan program was introduced under the Sustainable Action for Economic Recovery (SAfER) initiative to support small and micro-business enterprises in the state and provide relief during the economic hardship caused by the removal of fuel subsidies. The loan scheme, which is accessible to businesses without collateral, has been disbursed to partnering Microfinance Banks across the seven zones of Oyo State.
The Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Professor Musibau Babatunde, led a monitoring and evaluation visit to participating Microfinance Banks and beneficiaries of the loan in Ibadan, Oyo, and Ogbomoso zones. During the visit, Prof. Babatunde expressed satisfaction with the repayment turnout of the beneficiaries and assured applicants waiting to benefit from the scheme that they would be included soon. The loans have a three-month moratorium before repayment begins.
The Director-General of Oyo State Investment and Public Private Partnership Agency (OYSIPA), Mr. Olatilewa Folami, emphasized that the state government will continue to implement poverty alleviation programs that support small and micro-enterprises. He urged beneficiaries to make good use of the loans and repay them on time.
Beneficiaries of the SAfER SME loan support program have commended Governor Seyi Makinde for the positive impact it has had on their businesses. They expressed appreciation for the timely intervention and noted business improvements since accessing the loans.
In total, the N500 million loan support program has reached 1,346 beneficiaries across various sectors, including farming, catering, event planning, and barbering/entrepreneurship. The Microfinance Banks involved in the program have also seen positive impacts and have appealed for increased loan disbursements to meet the demand of eligible applicants who are yet to be attended to.