Consultancy firm targets 60 million Nigerians for N220bn SMES fund in 2016

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A Kaduna-based financial consultancy firm, says it is targeting 60 million Nigerians for financial inclusion through bottom-up approach to access the N220 billion Small and Medium Enterprises fund in 2016.

The, company, Kajaura International Consults Ltd., is to enable the people to access the fund being provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The Managing Director of the company, Dr. Yakub Abdalla, made the assertion at a two-day summit for Credit Cooperatives and Cooperative Credit Unions on access to finance.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the summit was organised by Kajaura with the theme “Positioning Credit Cooperatives and Cooperative Credit Unions for Access to Finance and Wealth Creation”.

The summit had 250 heads of credit cooperatives and 687 cooperatives, including civil servants’ cooperatives, representing 1.82 million registered members as participants from all states of the federation.

Abdalla disclosed that Kajaura had in January 2015, entered into an agreement with the CBN to allow cooperative societies to access the fund through microfinance banks.

He explained that the cooperative societies would apply through microfinance banks and the banks would apply to the CBN on their behalf.

“CBN will thereafter, wholesale-lend the amount to the microfinance bank which will in turn lend the money to the cooperatives at 9 per cent interest rate.

“So far, 1.82 million members of cooperative societies have registered with Kajaura to access the fund and they are currently going through the vetting process.

“We have fulfilled the conditions of bank accounts, CBN Know Your Customer policy and all others, including collateral.

“I assure you that once the process is concluded, the members will receive their money directly,’’ the company’s boss said.

He said that currently, only about 22 million Nigerians have banks account based on the information released by the CBN, which implied
that about 80 per cent of Nigerians do not have bank accounts.

Abdalla explained that the summit, the first in the country was organised to create a platform for collaboration among cooperatives to boost access to finance.

It is also to trigger cooperative trade among members and encourage export, he added.

He also said that Kajaura, in collaboration with e-transact, would launch a cooperative cash Automated Teller Machines (ATM) and cooperative cash master cards specifically for members.

Also, Felicia Henderson, the founder of a women empowerment NGO, “The Way Foundation’’, said that cooperative societies remained key in access to funds both within and from outside the country.

She said her foundation would collaborate with the cooperatives to open up internal and foreign markets, adding that every part of the country had something unique to offer.

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