By Ifeoma Ikem
The National President ,Association of Micro Entrepreneur of Nigeria (AMEN), Prince Saviour Iche has cried out over his inability to access the Lagos State intervention funds to boost his business.
Iche said this in an interview with our Correspondent on Sunday in Lagos.
He said that having met all the requirements for the application for loan since November 2021, he is yet to get the intervention funds.
He said that Lagos state government in its wisdom provided a grant opportunity for SMEs to assist them in businesses because of what they went through during the covid-19 pandemic .
According to him, ‘having met all the requirements, accessing the fund has been almost impossible.
“Apart from the cost of raw materials which we need to sustain our businesses, so many of us applied for the grant and many were successful approved of which I was one of them.
“I applied for N10 million, later an independent valuer called me that they were coming to ascertain if really am an entrepreneur.
“So when they came, they saw what I was doing with my staffs, asked them questions and also took pictures in the course of discussions with them”.
He said when he received a congratulatory message for being among the successful ones, so i went to Alimosho council where my local government area is to confirm on the list and my name was there and I was given a form to fill.
“They gave me the offer letter and when I collected the offer letter I discovered that it was for Ninety thousand Naira grant.
“My question is, what will I do with ninety thousand naira? is it for chemical or what at this difficult time, a liter of diesel is six hundred and fifty naira per liter?.
” I want government to know that some persons are using SME’s as a means of committing fraud and extort money from the government.
“Even the Ninety thousand naira they claimed to have given me I’m yet to receive it,” he added.
Iche noted that his purpose was to make a protest and also to give a feedback to the Lagos state government because it has good intentions for SMEs.
“We have a lot in common, we are partners in progress because if the SME’S being the highest employer of labour are not well taken care of, our contribution to the economy will impact negatively.
“Government will give grants to support entrepreneurs but those in charge to disburse the grant will divert the money for their selfish interest, let the state government investigate this applications.
He noted that there are series of government intervention loans fashioned towards the needs and support of the SMEs but very difficult to access.
” The independent valuer made me to know that with my qualification and what I have on ground I will be qualified to even get up to 15 million”.