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The Anambra Small Businesses Agency (ASBA) would double its loan portfolio from N2 billion of last year to N4 billion this year.
It has also expanded its services to include people in the creative industry – musicians, dramatists, and so on.
In an interview with DAILY INDEPENDENT in Awka, Chief Clement Chukwuka, the Chairman and Managing Director of the agency said: “ASBA is not only for business, we will also be willing to fund creative industry – art, music, drama, etc.”
Chukwuka said in addition that the loans were for all people leaving in Anambra who contribute to the growth of the state and not necessarily Anambra indigenes.
“ASBA loans are for all residing in Anambra, otherwise known as Ndi Anambra. We are not selective. The important thing is to repay the loans,” Chukwuka added.
He explained further that agriculture is especially the major thrust of this year’s loans while the youths are the focus.
He said it was aimed at taking the youths out of the streets and to create employment.
He reiterated that one of the conditions to secure the loan is for the applicants to provide a business plan unless one is a starter, and then get a guarantor to secure the loan.
In all cases, he said, due process must be followed. One must apply first, and then have his or her application assessed. On successful application, the applicants would begin training.
“The business we fund is domesticated. We will also organise seminars to educate beneficiaries on the security,” he added.
  Speaking on the ban of motorcyclists, popularly known as ‘okada’ from operating in three major towns in Anambra State,  Chukwuka said the ban would open a new vista for the business of tricycles to thrive.
He said ASBA was ready to fund tricyclists, otherwise known as ‘Keke Napep.’
But to fund that sector there must be 10 to 20 per cent down payment, he said.
Chukwuka said he didn’t see anything wrong with the ban on okada as the motorcyclists constituted more of nuisance and criminality in the environment where they operate on major towns.

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