The Bank of Agriculture (BOA) has become the preferred lender for manufacturers of leather products in Aba. To this end, seven cooperative groups have received N10.4 million loans from the BOA in the second phase of the loan disbursement programme to members of the Leather Products Manufacturers Association (LEPMAS), Abia state.
The loan facility, which was facilitated by Market Development in the Niger Delta (MADE), an intervention agency of the British DFID, was part of efforts aimed at encouraging manufacturing and standardization of finished leather products in the commercial city of Aba.
Speaking during the loan disbursement in Aba, the Intervention Manager, MADE, Dr. Adeyinka Abimbola said that it was a recent addition in the intervention programmes of the agency in recognition of the hard work of Aba artisans in manufacturing of shoes, bags, belts and other finished leather products.
Abimbola further stated that MADE has a target of improving income for 150,000 people in the Niger Delta area where its intervention programme is focused, adding that the five year programme would terminate in 2017.
The BOA zonal manager, South East, Mike Owonuwa said that the beneficiaries should not take for granted the cheap interest rate of 12 percent and liberalized loan conditions and see the loan given to them as “national cake.
The zonal manager, who was represented by the Executive Director, Wholesale Finance, Mr. Babatunde Igun, said that it was expected that loan beneficiaries would utilize the money judiciously to expand their business and add value to their products.
According to him, BOA is in the business of empowering people, generating income, creating jobs and ensuring food security and has so far disbursed N54.5 billion to 315 beneficiaries.
Owonuwa expressed the commitment of BOA to help members of LEPMAS grow their business, noting that the bank was remodeling its business platform to make it easier to access loans