Despite the controversy surrounding the status of the Social Exchange Market grant of between N3 million and N10 million, Apostle Israel Emeka Kama, the CEO of Vision Skilled Development Centre, one of the NGOs authorised by the social exchange market to mobilise projects, businesses and business ideas for the fund, said the initiative is genuine.
According to him, he too was sceptical of the programme before he ventured into it:
Hear him:“We would have gone far if we had embraced it but all of us, including me, are running away from it and we say it is a fake programme. Anyway, that was what I said before I started it.”
An online check reveals that the programme has been on for some time now.
According to www.naijaonlinebiz.com, quoting a proponent of the programme, it says ‘if you have a project/business that you or your group want to establish in your community, town or city in Nigeria, the grant is released by Social Exchange Market for each project enlisted in that community, town or city under the group. The project/business or business ideas may fall into any among these: block making, garment making, pure water industry, bakery, poultry and processing. Cassava plantation and processing, cattle ranching, nursery school, drug manufacturing industry, aquaculture and bottling companies. Tomato paste factory, matches and tooth pick, nylon industry, automated shoe making, flour mill, feed mill, etc.
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“The grant is minimum of N3million and maximum of N10million. No collateral needed. However, having fulfilled all documentations ,there shall be disbursement. “This will call for monitoring of every project. You are not paying any thing. You are not returning the grant .Your ideas must be production-oriented on how to process and package products. It is not for buying and selling. Social exchange market is funding it. They are group of philanthropists across the world. It is not MMM.
“The NGO will generate model micro-finance banks at the grassroots that will become a financial institution. A Model microfinance bank grant is released by Social Exchange Market for each project enlisted in that community, town or city under the group.”
At a seminar for his members at the weekend in Lagos, Kama explained how to access the grant.
According to him, the NGO is out to empower small scale businesses or ideas, and get to the grassroots, link the grassroots to Social EXchange Market to enable them access the grant. He added that the grant is not a loan but an empowerment grant.
It ranges between N250,000 to N10million.Now the amount you fill is not automatic.Your project would determine it. But in Visionskilled, as many that filled the form will have the money but it may not be the exact amount they filled.
The first batch is already off. That is why we are doing the sensitization, telling people how to manage the money. That is my major concern. If anybody comes and say he wants to pick form, it is just to be for the second batch. But what we are here for is to sensitise these people what is expected of them by the Social Exchange Market: how they must make use of the money and what business they must invest the money in and what they must understand about the NGO and what we expect from them. These are the reasons for this programme and the money will be out very soon before the end of October.
Nigeria has an estimatedpopulation of over 217 million people, we would have gone far if we had embraced it, but all of us, including me, are running away from it and we say it is a fake programme. Anyway, that was what I said before I started it.
This is how the programme works: If we are having 10,000 microfinance banks (MfBs) in each batch, each of these MfBs will be given N10 million, multiply that with the 10,000 MfBs. Now if each batch is 1,000, multiply 10,000 MfBs with 1,000, you will see the population of the first batch.
In my own first batch banks, I have 27 banks for first batch, which means that I am having 27,000 members for the first batch. In my second batch, we have gotten like over 170 banks, which is over 170,000 beneficiaries preparing for the second batch. But the first batch is our focus now. In the first batch, we have 27,000. In each of these banks that made up the 27,000, the banks owe 1,000 beneficiaries. These 1,000 beneficiaries, the total sum of money that will be given to that bank is N10 million. That means N10 million multiplied by 27,000 banks. That is for
Visioned Skills. It is we now that will give it to the banks who will give it to the beneficiaries.
Is FG involved in the programme?
I said this is not a government programme. The Social Exchange Market is a non-governmental body. People do mention Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), people do mention CBN, people do mention World Bank.I said no, it is just an international body that is funding these Nigerians and it is not from the Nigerian government.