The National Development Bank has funded the first batch of applications under the Goroka District Credit Scheme (GDCS) in the Eastern Highlands province. The GDCS is the District’s credit scheme that has been created by the National Development Bank to provide appropriate and easily accessible rural loans to ordinary people in the informal sectors of the Goroka district to start or improve existing small income generating business enterprises in both the rural and urban areas which they are unable to do with other commercial banks.

The funding follows the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) last year between NDB and the Goroka District Development Authority (GDDA) with the local Member and chairman of GDDA committee Hon. Bire Kimisopa pumping in K1.5 million from his Member’s District Services Improvement Project (DSIP) funds as security deposit to the Bank for the credit scheme. The Governor of Eastern Highlands Province, Hon. Julie Soso has also committed K1.5 million towards the GDCS from her Provincial Services Improvement Program (PSIP) fund but has yet to remit the funds to NDB.

The cheque presentation to the GDCS successful applicants with NDB was held last week in Goroka which saw 11 people receive their loan funding for their respective business ventures through the Credit scheme. A total of K500, 000 was being funded. The 11successful recipients are involved in businesses such as poultry, trade store, Public Motor Vehicle (PMV) service, stationary, guesthouse and a bakery.

Speaking at the launch was NDB Managing Director, Moses Liu who expressed NDB’s seriousness and commitment to its partnership with the people of Goroka and to ensure that the people fully benefit from the scheme. “The credit scheme is a well-structured scheme that will ensure that there is fair distribution of wealth amongst our people who have the capacity to do business,” Mr. Liu said.

He stressed that unemployment was a growing concern in the country but through the scheme and by encouraging people from the grassroots level and up to build our economy, it will also create employment opportunities for our people and this is the way forward. “The scheme is the first K1.5 million put forward by the MP of which K500, 000 has been funded to start off the scheme with K1million still to be funded so everyone will have the opportunity to benefit from the scheme with more funding to come in the future,” Mr. Liu said.

Mr. Liu reiterated that the purpose behind the DCS was to do away with the free handouts mentality and to take off the burden from MPs and therefore it is important that people show their commitment because it is a loan from the Bank. “The Bank will honour its commitment but to need to show your commitment. It is a two way scheme.” Mr. Liu said.

Hon. Bire Kimisopa said that it was his intention as the elected Member for the district to set up a K10 million revolving fund by the year 2017. “It’s a legacy fund. Its purpose is to revolve. We choose to invest money because we believe that you are the entrepreneurs of tomorrow and will create the employment hub for the people of this country.