Market women in Idanre, Ondo State could not hide their joy over the disbursement of low-interest loans to them by Ecobank Nigeria Limited as the credit facility will boost their businesses.
We gathered that the beneficiaries will receive N50,000 to improve their petty trades. The Ecobank’s low-interest loans are expected to be repaid in six months at a monthly instalment of N8,500, representing an interest rate of one per cent.
It was learned that the easy and low-interest loans were disbursed to the market women through Ecobank Female Entrepreneurship Initiative (EFEI).
Unveiling the scheme at Owa’s Palace, Idanre, Head of Classic Banking at Ecobank Nigeria, Mr Femi Ogundairo, said the initiative was specially designed by the bank to financially empower female business owners and entrepreneurs in the country.
According to him, it was a further demonstration of the importance the bank attaches to the role of women in sustainable development and contribution to the society and nation’s economy.
“The beneficiaries, who are expected to be women, will be given the sum of N50,000, which will be repaid in six months at a monthly instalment of N8,500, which represents a 1% interest rate.
“There are no hidden charges for the loans and beneficiaries who pay back regularly and on time may be rewarded and given higher loan facilities,” Mr Ogundairo stated.
He added that under EFEI, “the bank will also organize regular free training programmes for the women on how to do their businesses better and manage their money and loans well.”
Mr Ogundairo also used the opportunity to introduce the bank’s agency banking also known as Xpress Point to the people, saying they offer on behalf of the bank some services such as account opening, cash deposit and withdrawal, loan disbursement, fund transfer, bills payment, airtime recharge among others.
According to him, the agency banking would give the teeming unemployed Idanre youths employment opportunities which could subsequently make them not only gainfully employed but ultimately employers of labour.
Speaking at the event, Owa of Idanre Kingdom and Paramount ruler of Idanre Land, Dr Frederick Adegunle Aroloye, Arubiefin IV, lauded the decision of the lender to assist market women in the town, stressing that “since the bank’s mission’s borders on development and progress of the people, the palace will be ready to give it available and necessary supports to ensure it succeeds in Idanre Land.”
In her remarks, the Iyaloja General of Idanre Land and Vice President of Iyalojas and Babalojas of Nigeria, Princess Nike Aroloye Akingboye, thanked the financial institution for offering assistance to the market women in Idanre town to develop their trading business, assuring that “Idanre market women are credible people who would utilize the loans well and perform all necessary roles expected from the bank promptly.”
Many potential beneficiaries have started applying for the loan facility, commending Ecobank for the assistance, stating that it will help them improve their businesses.