100 Small Scale entrepreneurs in Ikorodu Division and other parts of the state will have the opportunity of accessing the loans made available by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to recapitalize their businesses.
The loan, which was made available to reduce unemployment and assist businesses in bouncing back after the COVID – 19 pandemic, was facilitated by the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, (NID – COM) and a former three term federal lawmaker representing Ikorodu Ikorodu Federal Constituency, Hon. Abike Dabiri – Erewa.
According to report, prospective beneficiaries are expected to embark on a required three – day training programme at the Ikorodu Local Government Secretariat on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, in order to benefit from the loan.
At the training, beneficiaries will receive lecture on ‘Entrepreneurship Development Programme’ by Mrs Dipo Philomena, Dr Chidi lgbokwe and Mr Chike Ajiegbo.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the training, Hon. Abike charged participants to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the training.
She was represented by Mr Akin Aribido, Head, Nigeria in Diaspora Commission (NID – COM)
“Do not despise little beginning. Take advantage of this opportunity which is a prequisite to accessing funds for your business”, she charged participants.
She enjoined them to learn all that are required to make them scale the hurdles required for the fund and also learn necessary entrepreneur lessons to expand their businesses.
Mrs Edward Olayebi Cerena, Lagos State Coordinator, National Directorate of Employment (NDE), speaking with our reporter, said that the scheme was designed to raise entrepreneurs and reduce unemployment that is prevalent in the country.
“The training is meant to raise entrepreneurs because there is unemployment, but if you young entrepreneurs, that will be self employed in due time, can take advantage of this opportunity provided by this training, you would be employers of labour and therefore reduce unemployment in our society”, she said.
“We are encouraging youths to be entrepreneurs. If you talk to many of our graduating youths, you will discover that they have a lot of ideas but the issue is funding but the government has come up with this NIRSAL Microfinance Bank to ensure that youths with ideas are supported.
“That is the whole essence of this training. It is to empower them with knowledge to establish their own businesses”.
She said that the training facilitated by the three – term lawmaker is aimed at assisting businesses facing challenges to get back on track after the COVID – 19 pandemic.
“This training is being facilitated by Hon Abike Dabiri – Erewa under our Directorate. We do collaborate with others to teach youths in entrepreneurship and those struggling with their businesses, especially after COVID 19 pandemic.
Explaining details about the loan, Mrs Edward said that:
“Accessing the loan depends on the type of business plans and projections. For instance, starting a bakery is quite different from the establishment of hairdressing or poultry business and there requirements differ.
“As soon as the training is completed, participants are expected to register online and get their certificates uploaded. Thereafter, they will be called for an interview and afterwards, they would be given money”.
She said that the fund is available for young entrepreneurs to access.
The Ikorodu Local Government Chairman, Hon. Wasiu Adeshina, commended the facilitator for deeming it necessary to facilitate the business training for youths in Ikorodu through which they will eventually get the required fund for their businesses.
Hon. Adeshina was represented by Hon. Omotayo Awolesi, the Majority Leader, Ikorodu Local Government Legislative Arm.
“I charge you, the participants, to take good advantage of this opportunity being provided by Hon. Abike. She has been doing it before and we are glad that she is still doing everything to make our youths in Ikorodu to be empowered”, Hon. Adeshina said.
Mrs Dipo Philomena, Head of Department, Small Scale Enterprise, during the training, said that the basic requirements for participants and other entrepreneurs to access the fund is business training by the NDE through which they will be awarded certificates and to develop business plans, while also stating that moratorium before repayment is between 6 to 9 months.
Meanwhile, one of the participants, Mrs Seun Ajayi, while commending the facilitator, said:
“This is a programme designed for us to assist us in getting funds for our businesses. It is an opportunity and a privilege to be here among the participants for this training facilitated by our mother, Hon. Abike Dabiri – Erewa, and I urge others to be focus during the training.
“We should be able to make use of all that we are going to be taught at the training”.