James Ojo Adakole
In line with its vision of reducing the unemployment rate in Nigeria, HoneyPays Micro Credit Investment Limited has empowered over 500 Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with interest-free loans in the outgoing year 2019.
Chairman of the firm, Jeremy Desmond Woyen, stated this during the company’s annual end of the year meeting in Lagos.
According to him, the unemployment situation in Nigeria has become worrisome, requiring the joint efforts of every stakeholder from the formal and non-formal sector to salvage the situation.
Woyen stated that the idea behind interest-free loans was based on the company’s realisation that start-up capital continues to remain a major problem for aspiring and budding entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
He stated the loan arrangement follows a systematic arrangement which begins with evaluation of the potential beneficiaries.
“The condition is that you must have an existing business for us to be involved in your business, and our involvement is teaching you how to book-keep and we allow you to practice it, then we come back to see if you are now credit worthy before giving you our loan,” Woyen stated.
The chairman went on to reiterate the company’s commitment to further shrinking the unemployment gap in Nigeria in 2020.
He commended the recently passed 2020 budget, stressing that with about 55 percent of the entire budget expected to come from the non-oil sector, it would significantly improve SME development in Nigeria.
“The 2020 budget is a welcome development for SMEs in Nigeria, especially with about 55 percent of it expected to come from the non-oil sector, which is majorly SMEs. If SMEs are able to scale up their business, there would be massive employment opportunities, which would contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.”
He further called on entrepreneurs in Nigeria to think up ways of navigating the business environment, stressing that regardless of inherent challenges in the system, the country has enormous business opportunities.
“The business environment in Nigeria with regards to micro-finance sector is like a leap of faith. The major thing is that there is a market for everything you are doing. There are plenty of opportunities for businesses in Nigeria,” Woyen said.