The Agricultural Produce Sellers Association of Nigeria (APSAN) has urged the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) to reform the Agribusiness Small and Medium Enterprises Scheme (AGSMEIS) scheme to enable people to have access to the loan facilities.
According to him, most of these EDIs in question use that as an avenue to extort or exploit applicants, for instance, considering the little difficulty in the application process, applicants have to hire the service of a consultant
the National President of APSAN, Aloy Akortsaha, made appealed during the solidarity rally in support of President Mohammadu Buhari, CBN Gov and Managing Director of NIRSAL Microfinance Bank on Agribusiness Interventions (COVID-19 loans, TCF household, SMEs, and AGSMEIS), in Abuja, yesterday.
Aloy Akortsaha commended the scheme, but the process is too cumbersome especially as it has to do with passing through entrepreneurship Development Institutes (EDIs).
“The area we have issues with is accessing the AGSMEIS facility and am using this opportunity to call you to help us reform the scheme so that an ordinary man on the street can have access to the scheme.
“Our visits here today is a solidarity rally in recognition of your efforts towards ensuring that Nigerian Agribusiness dealers and farmers are empowered through your viable and people-oriented program and policies which targeted credit facility to cushion the effects of COVID-19, non-interest household, petty cash, SMEs, AGSMEIS, etc.
“Your efforts in this regard are worthy of commendation and recommendations and we should not only be seeing or heard criticizing but voice out in appreciation too. Posterity will judge harshly if we fail to deliberately refuse to acknowledge worthy of your achievement.
“According to report and assessment we have carried out across the 36 and FCT, this is the first time in the history of Nigeria that a program or policy like this affects the grassroots directly without influence by the power”, he said.
He further suggested that applicants who applied, documented, and qualified to be shortlisted and the benefits of training cannot be overemphasized but it should be a sequel to a successful process, doing that, applicants don’t have to spend much before getting a loan.