NOT less than 2,000 beneficiaries have emerged so far from the CBN COVID-19 loan facility in the South-East and South-South.
The National Chairman, Isun Multipurpose Cooperative Society, Umuahia, Mr Isaac Nkole in a statement in Umuahia on Tuesday, stated that the facility had provided succour to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and households in the two zones.
According to him, the CBN COVID-19 loan has helped a number of households and SMEs to remain afloat, in spite of the harsh impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is the first time poor masses in Nigeria are getting interest-free federal loans without stress.
“It is amazing and it has restored the hope of many homes today,” Nkole stated.
He said that each beneficiary in the household category got about N500,000 repayable after three years.
He advised the beneficiaries to invest the money wisely, in order to grow their businesses and economy, saying that “this is a loan and not grant.”
Nkole further spoke on the gains of the Federal Government’s N-Power programme in poverty reduction and youth employment vis-a-vis the plan to disengage the beneficiaries.
He said that the initiative had justified its existence and should be strengthened for greater achievements rather than discontinuing with the programme.
He said, “N-Power has made tremendous impact in some key sectors of the economy, like agriculture and education.”
The programme, he said, had brought significant improvement in the education sector with the deployment of university graduates to teach in the primary school system.
According to him, the development had engendered quality primary education, especially in rural communities.
Nkole said: “The introduction of N-Power stands out as one of the best policies of the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari.
“A lot of graduates have been gainfully engaged through the scheme. Some of them are in N-Teach, N-Agro, N-Tax and N-build.”
He faulted suggestions calling for discontinuing with the programme, saying that it would be counterproductive, and, “it will be like killing the bird that lays the golden egg.”
NAN reports that the Federal Government had announced that the process of engaging the batch C of N-Power volunteer would begin on June 26, with the opening of the engagement portal at noon.
It also announced that those in batch A, engaged since 2016 and their counterparts in batch B, engaged in 2018 would exit the scheme on June 30, and July 31, respectively.