The Managing Director of the bank, Mrs Frances Bekey, said that the fund was from two per cent of the N220 billion Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) fund earmarked for people living with disabilities.
“What we are here today to do is the flag off of the disbursement of the two per cent of the N220 billion MSME development fund of the CBN.
“The CBN reserved two per cent of the fund for people living with disabilities; here in Karamajiji, we have a colony where the FCT has earmarked for them to live.
“Basically, everybody living here has one form of disability or another and today we have taken off the disbursement of the loan to people here in this community,’’ she said.
Bekey said that the beneficiaries were grouped into six, comprising 10 persons and four groups had already received funds of N50,000 each today.
She said that the beneficiaries were account holders in the bank and had met the necessary requirements needed to access the loan.
She also explained that the funds would be disbursed in tranches and subsequently more people would be able to benefit from the fund.
The Managing Director noted that the fund was a loan with a repayment period of one year and an interest rate of nine per cent as already stated by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
She said: “The people have asked for a moratorium and we have given them a period of two weeks moratorium to use the money and begin to pay back.
“Some of them are into knitting, some are into liquid soap making and disinfectant, some are into tailoring, farming and there is a group which came together to buy grinding machine.”
On supervision, Bekey said the people had been properly sensitised, adding that a staff member had also been assigned to regularly monitor them to ensure that the funds were used appropriately.
She, however, appealed to the government to construct accessible roads and provide electricity for the disabled residents.
A beneficiary, Mrs Rabi Mustapha, told the News Agency of Nigeria that she was very happy to receive the fund from the bank because it would help to enhance her business.
“We have received a loan of N50,000 from the bank which will help us to do businesses, unlike when we did not have options but to go about begging for alms.
“I started my business with a little money but with this money today my power is enhanced to do a whole lot more because I learnt how to make about 20 products and money had been my challenge.
“We thank God for this people because I have not seen this kind of thing in this place before although I have not stayed here for a long time; I am about a year old here,’’ Mustapha said.
The traditional Head of the disabled persons in Abuja, Alh Suleiman Katsina, thanked the management of the bank and government for providing the funds.
Katsina urged the beneficiaries to utilise the funds for the purpose for which they were meant, adding that the people were very grateful.
He said: “I am praying for God to bless this people and we are very grateful and thank you very much.’’ (NAN)