The Gombe State government on Friday flagged off a N750 million Trade Intervention Fund to encourage trade and commerce as well as promote economic development in the state.
Flagging off the distribution of monies from the fund to traders in Gombe, the state capital on Friday, Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo explained t that the fund was set up because of the neglect of the economic sector by past administrations which had led to a decline in commerce.
He lamented that this has resulted into mass youth unemployment and abject poverty as well insecurity in the state, adding that his government was poised to redress the situation.
He recalled that before the Trade Intervention Fund was set up, his administration had earlier initiated a special fund to cater for micro, small and medium enterprises and assured that other interventions aimed at fast-tracking the socio-economic development of the state would still be introduced.
The governor said that one of the goals of setting aside the Trade Fund was to support the Gombe Traders Association to boost trading activities and uplift the living standard of the people.
“The state government is deliberately partnering with JAIZ Bank to administer the Trade Intervention Fund… Consequently, in the memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will soon be signed, JAIZ Bank and the state government will contribute a total sum of N750 million in this first phase, for disbursement to 2,065 traders,” he said.
Also speaking at the flag off ceremony, the Commissioner for Finance, Mohammed Hassan, stated that traders can access loans from the fund interest free and that they would be required to pay back within one year so that others can benefit from the programme.
The commissioner stated that state government was not involved in the selection of the beneficiaries as the traders’ associations determined the beneficiaries.