Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State has flagged off the operations of Giginya Micro-Finance Bank with the disbursement of an interest-free loan of N1billion to traders and artisans in the state.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that Giginya Micro-Finance Bank is the first indigenous bank in the state licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
During the flag-off ceremony on Friday in Sokoto, a statement by the Special Adviser Media and Publicity to the governor, Muhammad Bello, quoted Mr Tambuwal as saying that the gesture was aimed at improving the lives of the citizenry and accelerating socio-economic development in the state.
Mr Tambuwal said: “The loan is going to be revolving in nature and will be paid back on monthly installments in two years for others to benefit.”
According to him, the state government is poised to grow the financial base by sourcing for N2 billion from the CBN, “to support our traders and all those at the micro, small and medium level of the economy.”
More so, “the bank,” added the governor, ” is planning to grow its deposit base from major stakeholders- contractors, state government, parastatals, agencies and placement from individuals and corporate bodies.”
The bank, according to him, will also key into the Islamic banking window to provide various services of Islamic Sharia allowable banking transaction such as Mudaraba, Murabaha, Salam, Ijara and Istisna.
The governor emphasized that his administration, is “ready to continuously empower traders and artisans to make their lives easier through the provision of non-interest soft loans for their various businesses.
He promised that other empowerment programmes for different groups of businesses would also be implemented.
In his address, the Commissioner of Commerce and Industries, Bashir Gidado thanked the state government for initiating the facility saying that the loans will stimulate commercial activities in the state.
He added that the loan is not the first to be provided to traders and explained that the sum of N500 million naira have been distributed previously to them.
The Chairman of the bank, Sambo Bashar, who applauded the effort of the state government, further emphasized the noble intention of the state governor to lift the poor and women out of penury.
The representative of the Sultan of Sokoto, Prof. Sambo Wali-Junaidu, Wazirin Sokoto, while noting that the microfinance bank is a step forward for the economic development of the state, requested that 50 per cent of the beneficiaries should be women, many of who are in purdah.