By Lami Ibrahim
A non-governmental organisation, Helpline Foundation for the Needy Abuja in collaboration with Ramatu Tijani Aliyu (RTA) Foundation, has empowered vulnerable 40 women in Kogi with a interest free loan to boost their petty businesses.
Speaking at the inauguration on Wednesday in Lokoja, Dr Jumai Ahmadu, the Founder of the Foundation, said the loan is a Non-Profit Revolving Loan Scheme (NPLRS), introduced in 2018 to encourage women-led businesses.
Dr Ahmadu, who was represented by Barr. Tina Tims-Ejigah, said the initiative was to empower vulnerable women and widows to become self-reliant and sustain their families.
The founder stressed the NPLRS was designed to support widows and under-privilege women to start profitable businesses with a small interest free payable at intervals.
According to her, the intending beneficiaries would form clusters consisting 20 to 40 women each where they are given a certain amount of money to startup or boost their existing businesses.
“These women are expected to pay back these loans in installments which will be given to other woman to start their own businesses.
“The aim of the scheme is to create a community of self-reliant women who will add value to themselves and their immediate community, though inclusion and circulation of startup funds”, she said.
She noted that scheme had recorded over 1000 beneficiaries in the pilot States which include FCT and Nasarrawa
She encouraged the beneficiaries to use the loan judiciously, and be committed to paying back the loan so that others could benefit.
Each of the 40 beneficiaries in four clusters received a sum of N20, 000, while the remaining 40 women in the clhsters would benefit subsequently.
Hajia Momoh Jimba, President of Market Women Association, Kogi State, who spoke on behalf of the beneficiaries, thanked the foundations for the gesture.
Jimba said that the gesture would go a long way to help the beneficiaries to establish and boost their petty trades to be self-reliant and reduce poverty among women.