1 By Emmanuella Anokam
2 The Nigerian Agency for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEDAN) reports that the administrative costs of microfinance banks (MFB) under its One Local Government, One Product (OLOP) project have been revised upwards to 8% .
4 OLOP is a flagship program of SMEDAN which promotes the development of at least one product identified by local government area (LGA) in Nigeria, empowering micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME).
5 The program which offers 70 percent interest-free loans and 30 percent grants adds value and evolves these identified raw materials into a branded and certified product with expanded market potential (including export).
7 Ballah noted that the eight percent upward revision was part of his reform agenda to make the OLOP program more effective and impactful in the country.
8 She said that SMEDAN’s attention was drawn to the program due to the difficulties faced by beneficiaries in accessing funds and intervention.
9 She also denounced the inability of most companies to complete the certification of competent authorities such as the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and the Control and Standards Organization of Nigeria and membership in the OLOP concept.
10 The Director listed other OLOP reform programs for effective implementation by stakeholders, including promoting membership registration with professional organizations, in order to encourage beneficiaries.
11 According to her, candidate companies should have proof of a bank transaction (corporate account) while there should be a business plan showing empowerment status and an expansion plan under OLOP which are reviewed. periodically.
12 Others include techniques for beneficiaries, promoting information technology, exposing beneficiaries to the importance of using ICT to run their businesses in order to attract both local and international sponsorship.
13 As part of the reform program, she noted that for an effective implementation of OLOP, there should be personalized training of cooperative societies to stimulate competition and annual exhibitions of OLOP products.
14 Regarding the loan repayment, she noted that it was very important and essential, adding that it introduced an innovation in its loan repayment.
15 Mr. Levi Anyikwa, Deputy Director, Special Tasks Department, SMEDAN, also urged all stakeholders to ensure that the meeting has valuable information and ideas to enrich the ongoing reform through the OLOP program.