Rivers State Microfinance Agency Unveils 4 Billion Naira Fund For SMEs, As Disbursement Commences

In a move aimed at boosting entrepreneurship and economic growth for the people of Rivers State, the Rivers State Microfinance Agency (RIMA) has officially launched a 4 billion Naira fund to support Nano, small, and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the state.

The announcement came during a press conference held at the RIMA office on Friday, May 3, 2024, presided over by the Managing Director, Pastor Jonathan Tobin.

The initiative, a collaborative effort between the River State Government and the Bank of Industry, was flagged off by Governor Siminalayi Fubara, solidifying the state’s commitment to fostering business development and job creation.

Since the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the River State Government and the Bank of Industry on January 5, 2024, efforts have been underway to identify and support viable businesses across the state’s 23 local government areas.

Pastor Jonathan Tobin outlined the eligibility criteria for accessing the loans, emphasizing the importance of preparedness for prospective applicants.

Small businesses seeking loans ranging from 1000 Naira to 1 million Naira can apply directly through RIMA, while larger amounts up to 50 million Naira are processed through the Bank of Industry.

Moreover, Tobin stressed that the loan is available for all strata of legitimate, viable business ventures across the state’s 23 local government areas, encouraging interested and qualified business men and women to apply.

However, Tobin highlighted challenges faced during the identification process, including cases of impersonation and fraudulent attempts to access the funds.

Despite these hurdles, over 3000 businesses have been deemed eligible for disbursement, reflecting the strong demand for financial assistance among Rivers residents.

The disbursement ceremony, which took place on May 3, 2024, saw Governor Fubara presenting dummy checks to representatives from each of the 23 local governments, along with additional beneficiaries from the Bank of Industry. Immediate alerts were issued to recipients upon receipt of the checks.

Pastor Tobin disclosed that RIMA will provide training sessions to loan recipients, focusing on business management, financial literacy, and market strategies.

He emphasized the importance of responsible loan utilization, urging recipients to invest the funds wisely for sustainable growth.

With an annual interest rate of just 7.5%, the initiative offers one of the most favorable loan terms in the country, providing a significant opportunity for entrepreneurs to expand their businesses and contribute to the state’s economic development.

As the loan beneficiaries continue to get disbursement, Pastor Tobin expressed confidence in Governor Fubara’s commitment to fulfilling promises and transforming the lives of Rivers residents through impactful initiatives.

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