Traders and other artisans in Bauchi State have been offered an N1b interest-free loan by the State Government which has expressed worries over the decline in economic and commercial activities and increased dependence on government for employment opportunities.
A press statement signed and mailed to newsmen by the Press Secretary to the Governor, Abubakar Al-Sadique contained that the Governor announced the offer of the loan on Wednesday while addressing leaders of the state Traders and Artisans Association who paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House.
According to the release, the Governor who observed that Nigerians must embrace businesses in order to reduce over-reliance on government, explained that the loan package is in line with the cardinal objective of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) which his administration has been pursuing since its inception in 2015.
He further said that the loan package will be perfected next week with banks, stressing that it is an interest-free one so that beneficiaries can repay with ease while also giving them the opportunities to expand the frontiers of their businesses to engage other teeming unemployed youths across the state.
In his response, the State Patron of the Traders and Artisans Association, Alhaji Salisu Garba Maizuma who assured the Governor of judicious utilisation of the loan applauded the Governor for the purchase of land that was given to traders for the expansion of Wunti market and the financial support he gave to victims of fire incidents in Bauchi and Azare.
Garba Maizuma also said that the traders and artisans in Bauchi are indebted to the Governor and President Buhari for the concerns their administrations have shown to the plight of traders and artisans in Bauchi State.