The Bank of Industry (BOI) in conjunction with Benue State government has begun the disbursement of N2 billion loan to 138 cooperative societies, Samuel Ortom, the governor, said on Tuesday.
Mr Ortom, who said this at a workshop for members of cooperative societies in Makurdi, said an additional N358 million had been approved for 78 more cooperative societies.
He said the initiative was aimed at empowering Benue people in their businesses through their respective registered cooperative societies.
Represented by Tersoo Kpelai, the Commissioner for Industry Trade and Investment, Mr Ortom explained that the workshop was meant to educate the people on how to set up businesses, where to locate them and how to make profit from their businesses.
He said that members of the 78 cooperative societies in the state had begun to access the N348 million recently approved.
Mr Ortom urged people in the state to join cooperative societies to enable them acquire loans from government just as he encouraged cooperative societies to apply for loans to help their members in farming and business.
Congratulating the 78 benefiting cooperatives, a manager in the Bank of Industry, Frank Kings, said only qualified candidates would benefit from the loan.
According to him, the only criterion to qualify for the loan is for participants to be registered with any of the cooperative societies.
He called on registered cooperative societies to obtain cheque list and submit applications at the ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to ease the processes.
Mr Kings said the bank was tackling some of the challenges earlier experienced by the cooperatives, but added that some applicants had already started accessing their loans.