NIRSAL Loans: 1,500 Nigerians to Benefit

The Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) will train 1,500 former agitators who will receive single-digit interest loans from NIRSAL.

According to a statement, Mr Milland Dikio, the interim administrator of PAP, said the initiative is part of the efforts to raise people’s economic prospects in the region by attracting financial support for small and medium-scale enterprises.

He urged the beneficiaries to judiciously use the NIRSAL loans to become successful entrepreneurs, warning them against misuse of the facility, adding that diverting the facility would create more hardship for them and the region.

NIRSAL is a Central Bank of Nigeria-backed programme targeted for entrepreneurs in the agricultural value chain at a concessionary interest rate of nine per cent.

The training was an extension of PAP’s November 2021 NIRSAL loan program, and it was held at specified locations in the states of Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, and Akwa Ibom.

Represented by the Head of Reintegration, Mr Alfred Kemepado, Mr Dikio said that the training would help the loan beneficiaries grow their businesses and mitigate risks, saying that the focus was to facilitate and enhance single-digit interest loans for entrepreneurs in the region.

At the Yenagoa and Port Harcourt Centers, Mr Dikio, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Projects, Mr Godwin Ekpo, asked the beneficiaries to form cooperatives and focus on agriculture.

The expectation is that after working with this group of people and moving on to the following batches, the activities undertaken will produce outcomes because the facilitators were captivating.

Diko stated, “We’ve asked them to organize into cooperatives and assess their place in the agriculture value chain by looking at production, processing, packaging, and logistics.”

Many have expressed interest so that they may group themselves into various clusters along the value chain of various products.

We are stating to everybody who would listen that the Niger Delta is prepared for growth. Return to the Niger Delta; make investments here. We are prepared to welcome you and offer you our help.

In Warri, a senior Reintegration Officer in PAP, Mr Benjamin Appah, explained how the various centres’ beneficiaries were drawn across the region.

“The names were gathered from PAP cooperatives, impacted communities, PAP success stories, and the verified legitimate recipients of the Amnesty Program.

“Their cooperatives, post-training units, and camp directors gave us the names.

We also acquired information from the success tales of those previously granted privileges by the amnesty office and are enjoying success in their enterprises.

“So the office of the Interim Administrator thought it wise to say that since they are doing well in their businesses, why don’t we help them expand?

The Federal Government of Nigeria is the organization behind this loan program.

However, PAP decided to close that gap and support training by hiring a consultant who will instruct beneficiaries, demonstrate the requirements for obtaining the loan, and assist them in creating a solid business plan.

Who is Eligible?

Individuals / Non-registered Businesses

1. Individual within the age bracket of 18 to 35 years

2. Has a valid BVN and means of ID

3. Provision of Business plan Summary or Completed Questionnaire

4. Entrepreneurship Training Certification from FMYSD Entrepreneurship Development Institutes (EDIs)

Registered Businesses

1. Formal business enterprises (Youth owned enterprises), duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)

2. Business plan Summary or Completed Questionnaire

3. Valid Bank Verification Number (BVNs) of Directors

4. Provision of Tax Identification Number (TIN)

5. Entrepreneurship Training Certification from FMYSD EDIs

In summary, the goal of the current PAP administration is to make it easier for recipients to take advantage of the Federal Government’s zero-percent collateral-free lending scheme.

“The office is in charge of all the other expenses that qualify them; all the beneficiaries have to do is come down to their training centres and receive their training,” Mr Appah stated.

Certificates of participation were issued to the beneficiaries across all centres at the end of the five-day workshop.

The certificate qualified the beneficiaries for other Central Bank of Nigeria accredited loans, grants and credit facilities.

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