Sekondi NDC Parliamentary candidate gives GHC800k interest-free loans to women traders

The National Democratic Congress Parliamentary Candidate for Sekondi, Lawyer Blay Nyameke Armah, has started piloting his women’s banking promise with interest-free loans to about 400 women traders in and around the Sekondi market.

Each trader who applied for financial assistance received an interest-free loan ranging from GHS3,000 to GHS7,000 to be paid within five months.

Speaking to Citi News at the handing over of the second batch of the interest-free loan packages, the NDC Parliamentary Candidate for Sekondi, Lawyer Blay Nyameke Armah said women are critical in any family and the support is to give them some foundation in their business.

Lawyer Nyameke Armah Blay-NDC PC, Sekondi

“If you need to build a project, then you need a good foundation. Realising that the economy of Sekondi is basically fish trading, we decided to ensure a good foundation, which is enabling the market women to have a very good capital base. So that when NDC comes to power, and we are able to renovate or redevelop the Sekondi Market, the people in Sekondi Market would already have a very stable capital to enhance our economic activities. This will also empower the women because women play pivotal roles in their homes,” he said.

Lawyer Blay Armah added that the soft loan for the women shows NDC’s commitment to the promise to create a Women’s Bank.

“Their commitment to pay back the interest-free loans is what has encouraged me and the NDC to continue this scheme. One of the policies of our flagbearer, John Mahama is to establish Women’s Bank. We want our flagbearer to know that we in Sekondi have already started this woman’s banking. The end product is for the NDC to help establish a Sekondi Community Women’s Bank to benefit every woman that is trading in Sekondi and as well as expand it to include the men,” he added.

He further explained that he is motivated by the traders’ hard work and truthfulness in repaying the loans given to them earlier to keep the scheme going.

“Regarding the repayment in the first batch of soft loans, it was very fantastic, and I couldn’t believe it. This is because we all thought that we were going to have to chase them to repay the loans. But, by the time the collectors get to them, they would have them deposited with the group leaders and so the collectors just pick the money up to the Bank. ‘

“In the first batch of loans we gave them which is still ongoing, each beneficiary received GH2,000 and when you finish repaying, and you’re coming for your second loan after assessment, we increase it to GH3,000 and subsequently GHS5,000 and GH7,000,” he noted.

Sophia Nketsia-Beneficiary Trader, Sekondi

One of the loan beneficiaries, Sophia Nketsia told Citi News that Lawyer Blay’s interest-free loan has saved the women traders from high-interest rates and delays in securing mainstream Bank loans.

Sophia Nketsia-Beneficiary Trader, Sekondi

“I suffered so much when I tried to secure a bank loan some time ago. In addition to the high-interest rate, I had to queue for three weeks before I was registered for the loan. However, Lawyer Blay’s interest-free loan is also stress-free. Immediately you complete your form, and then you receive your money.

“We thank God for his life and the support, because we have seen several parliamentary candidates in Sekondi before, but he is unique and surprising. I call on all those benefiting from the loan to reciprocate by voting for him to come and do more for us women traders.”

Following the frequent sharp increases in the price of petroleum products and the challenges drivers face, Lawyer Blay hinted that the Sekondi NDC has initiated a programme which will soon loan out money to help commercial drivers fuel their vehicles.

Source: Akwasi Agyei Annim

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