Abuja — The National Economic Reconstruction Fund, NERFUND, said yesterday that it would create 500,000 new jobs in its bid to check unemployment in the country.
The fund said its bright prospects for job creation followed the boost of its operations as a result of renewed interest shown by stakeholders.
The agency’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Dahiru Ali, told Vanguard that the fund received no fewer than 30,000 applications from small and medium scale investors in 2012 for funding, amounting to N150 billion, which had the potential to generate the expected 500,000 jobs, when funded.
Ali explained that of the requests, 1,612 micro and small scale industrial projects valued at N5.2 billion while 1071 micro enterprises with N5 million funding limit had been fully funded with the sum of N2.34 billion.
Similarly, 49 small scale manufacturing enterprises with funding not exceeding N150 million were financed with N1.63 billion.
Ali said the agency would take necessary steps to recover all outstanding loans from beneficiaries in 2013 to make funds available to other small scale businessmen in the country.
He said: “Part of the Fund’s goal for 2013 is the recovery of a substantial part of the facilities that were overdue of which N500 million was recovered at the end of 2012.”
NERFUND, which was established by the Federal Government to make funds readily available for industrial development, has bankrolled 266 projects between 1989 and 1999 of which 244 have fully refunded their loans amounting to N4.97 billion.
It operates two micro and small enterprises credit windows for direct lending and indirect lending to beneficiaries who are expected to pay back their loans at stipulated time and rates.
The fund currently has over 26 partners through which it gives out loans to beneficiaries in the country.