The Edo State government has announced guidelines for disbursement of N3 billion to support small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the State.
The money is part of the $750 million federal government economic recovery fund to 36 States of the federation.
Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Wealth Creation and Cooperatives and Employment, Mr. Joel Edionwe disclosed this at a Media briefing on Thursday in Benin City.
Edionwe said the initiative is part of World Bank’s intervention support for SMEs and recovery stimulus package called Result-Area 3, adding that the funds would be disbursed between 2021 and 2022.
He said the disbursement linked indicators (DLI) will accommodate potential registered and non-registered business owners free of charge without any third party interference.
The Permanent Secretary also charged residents of the State to cooperate with 1500 Bank of Industry (BoI) agents (enumerators) for data collection on digital platforms for the project Implementation Unit (PIU).
Edionwe said the BoI agents would help to carryout due diligent and evaluation of applicants during the exercise which does not allow for multiple registrations and business owners in the agricultural sector who would be captured in the livelihood support programme.
“The result area-3 is subdivided into three units called Disbursement Linked Initiative (DLI). The programme is designed in such a way that the Edo State government is the one giving grants to businesses that were affected by COVID-19 to help them recover. From Edo State to the citizens is a grant; from world bank to Nigeria to Edo State is a loan.
“The mode of disbursement is not done by the ministry, this programme is running in partnership with the Bank of Industry, the platform to be adopted is owned by the BoI.
“Whatever data we are going to collate will be forwarded to the BoI, who will then do due diligence to ensure that all applications are treated with merit and in line with the guidelines”, he said.