Lagos State Government has inaugurated an eight -man Technical Committee to facilitate access to micro-finance loans by women, artisans and small businesses.
The Deputy Governor, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, who inaugurated the committee in Ikeja, said the move was to ensure that loans for small and medium enterprises got to the targeted beneficiaries.
Orelope-Adefulire said the committee would ensure that loans accessed were repaid at agreed periods, adding that they would also interface regularly with the beneficiaries to achieve set goals.
She said government was committed to supporting businesses in the state, especially small scale entrepreneurs and business people, as part of its strategy to alleviate poverty.
She advised interested artisans and business operators to take advantage of the facility and go to the committee with their business proposals to access loans.
“We enjoin you to come forward with your business ideas and other details, while the committee will look at it and advise accordingly.
“You must also repay the loan as quickly as possible to enable other people benefit. If you don’t repay, you are denying other people the opportunity,” she said.
The deputy governor said the loans would be disbursed by the Lagos State Microfinance Institute (LASMI) in collaboration with Lagos State Cooperative Federation (LASCOFED) to ensure it got to the end users.
Earlier, Chairman of LASMI, Chief Sikiru Macfoy, said the committee’s inauguration was part of resolutions at a seminar organised by LASMI where challenges of accessing microfinance loans were discussed.
He thanked the deputy governor for the initiative, and promised that the institute would work with LASCOFED to ensure that the loans were properly distributed and repaid.
The committee is chaired by Dr Sikiru Ashamu of the Lagos State University.
Members of the committee are Mr . Bola Sanusi, President, Lagos State Council of Tradesmen and Artisans, and Mrs Ayo Awokulehin of the Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.