Small business owners appeal to govt for special loans

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Small business owners in Manchok, Kaura Local Government Area of
Kaduna State, have appealed to government at all levels to provide
them with special loans to expand their businesses.
The business owners made the appeal in separate interviews on Tuesday.
They explained that they needed the facilities because their
businesses had stagnated for too long due to insufficient capital.
Liman Musa, a cobbler, said he had been in the business for 17 years.
Musa, however, lamented that he had remained in the same shop where he
began the business and could not expand for lack of fund.
He said he made an average of N2,000 daily.
“This is the same shop I learned the trade before my boss left the
place for me and moved to another location.
“As you can see, I am still here and nothing has changed; I am still
mending and cobbling shoes.
“This is because it is from this business that I eat and buy clothes,
and if I assist anybody it is from this same business.
“More so, I have an aged father and mother and eight younger ones
that I support from the little earning I get from this business.
“Tell me, in this kind of condition, how one can save enough to expand?’’
Musa, therefore, appealed for support from government to enable him to
expand his business, raise his earnings and save enough to change his
life.
“I need about N200,000 to refurbish my business; that way I will be
able to employ additional hands and reduce the number of idle youths
in the streets,’’ he said.
Danladi Danjuma, a 39-year-old vulcanizer, who inherited the business
from his late father at an early age, said he made at least N3, 000
daily.
Danjuma also lamented that he had remained in the same place for the
past 30 years, where his father had worked without much improvement.
He urged the government to support him with N400,000 to acquire modern
equipment, to boost the business and enhance his profit margin.
“Right now I have seven people working under me; if I expand, the
number may double or even triple.
“I really need government assistance because someone in my kind of
business will not get a loan from the bank.
“I have no collateral to give to the bank; no certificate and no
assets, except my tools in the shop,’’ Danjuma said.
Maxwell Joseph, a 35-year old electronic technician, said he made
between N15,000 and N20,000 daily and could make more money if he had
the capital to acquire spare parts.
Joseph also said he inherited the trade from his father 17 years ago
but still operated in the same location and could not expand due to
lack of fund.
“I grew up in this trade.
“As a child, I helped my father in the shop and gradually developed
interest in the trade and eventually inherited the shop, being the
eldest son when my father passed away.
“In this line of business you make more money fixing parts, and so,
my major challenge is insufficient fund to enable me to buy electronic
parts in bulk.
“If I have enough parts, this will save me huge amount of money spent
on transportation to Jos, where I buy all the electronic parts I
need.”
Joseph said that he needed capital to buy the parts in bulk and avoid
always going to the market whenever customers came to repair their
electronics.
“Last week, a television panel sells for N3, 500; by the time I
returned to the market the following day the price had increased to
N5, 000.
“If I had enough money I would have bought the panel in bulk and make
more money.
“I have approached the bank for loan but they told me point blank
that they preferred those in wholesale business and not artisans.
“With enough capital, I can partner importers to get the parts
directly from China, but I do not have enough money to make this dream
a reality.
“It seems the government has forgotten us in the rural areas; only
government can assist us to sustain and expand our businesses,’’ he
stated.
Similarly, Sadiq Abubakar, a tea café owner who dropped out of school
because of school fees, said he started the business with N5, 000, 20
years ago.
Abubakar blamed his inability to expand into related businesses on
lack of sufficient capital.
He said he needed about N300,000 to expand and employ at least three
additional hands to provide employment opportunities.
“I realise that I could achieve more if I expand into other business
like supplying eggs, indomie noodle, milk and other beverages needed
in the business.
“If I can access more funds, I can supply all these items in
wholesale and this means more earnings and improved profit margin,’’
he said.
Abubakar, however, said that the tea cafeteria business had been
fruitful in spite of financial challenges.
He said he had so far bought a car, married and invested in other
businesses. (NAN)

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