Determined to assist young Nigerians to be self-reliant, AG Mortgage Bank Plc, in partnership with Lashone Links Business School, a skills acquisition centre, have concluded plans to grant non-interest loans to its graduates.

The Head, Business Development of the bank, Chibuzor Ifenkwe, during the formal unveiling of the partnership deal before the graduates of the centre in Lagos, said the idea behind the partnership is to empower youths that are engaged in skills acquisition to be self-reliant.

According to Ifenkwe, the way out of recession is not for people to solely depend on the government alone, but to be meaningfully engaged in job creation through skills acquisition.

“We know very much that government cannot generate employment that would go round, and when you see people that are ready to be supported, the bank is willing to do that,” he added.

He informed that the bank decided to partner with Lashone Links Business School because of its outstanding record of training and meaningfully engaging people in skill acquisition.

He said the Victory Saving Account (VISA), through which the bank is supporting the programme, will create an environment for trainees to have access to loans from the bank. This would enable them to start their own business upon the completion of their training, adding that the bank can also assist those that already own their businesses but still require some financial assistance.

He said: “there are two things we want to achieve through this product (VISA), which include to a encourage a savings culture, and give back to the society.” He therefore encouraged the trainees and other Nigerians to utilise the opportunity the bank is creating through its VISA programme to make judicious use of it.

The Group Managing Director, Lashone Links, Lanre Shonekan, said the centre plans to see that people are meaningfully engaged to become business owners through the skills acquisition programme, and assured that the bank will continue to support the initiative.

Shonekan maintained that the centre has produced over 500 graduates in five years, noting that the partnership is to ensure self-reliance for those who wish to run their own businesses.

He informed that prospective beneficiaries of the loan will have to form themselves into a cooperative society as a platform through which they can access the loan from the PMI, as individuals will not be granted the loan.

Source:  Bankole Orimisan

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