The Anambra Small Business Agency (ASBA) is said to double its loan portfolio from last year’s USD 5.56 Mn to USD 11.12 Mn this year. The agency has also expanded its services to include creative such as musicians, dancers, and dramatists among others.
In an interview in Awka, the Chairman and Managing Director of the agency, Clement Chukwuka told that, “ASBA is not only for business, we will also be willing to fund creative industry – art, music, drama and so on.”
In addition, he reported that the loans are for all the people living in Anambra who contribute to the growth of the state and not essentially the indigenes of the state.
“ASBA loans are for all residing in Anambra State, otherwise known as Ndi Anambra. We are not selective. The important thing is to repay the loans” he stated further.
Explaining further, he said that this year the thrust will be majorly on the area of agriculture, with youth being the core of that intention. He noted that the initiative is an effort to take youth off the streets and create employment. Reiterating, Chukwuka said that one of the conditions to secure the loan is for the applicants to provide a business plan unless one is a starter, post which they will need a guarantor to secure the loan.
According to him, each participant following due process, must apply first and have the application assessed. Once it’s a success, the applicants would begin training. He noted that businesses funded are domesticated, and that the agency will organize seminars to educate beneficiaries on the security.
Speaking on the ban of motorcyclists from operating in three major towns in Anambra State, Chukwuka said the development would open a new vista for the tricycle business to thrive. Along these lines, he mentioned that ASBA is ready to fund tri-cyclists, popularly known as ‘Keke Napep”. But he said that funding this sector will require 10 to 20 percent down payment. “I don’t see anything wrong with the ban on motorcycles, as the riders constituted more of nuisance and criminality in the environment they operated, of which major towns suffered the most.”
Image Courtesy, Independent Newspapers Nigeria