A MEMORANDUM of understanding (MoU) on a micro-finance scheme was signed yesterday between the National Development Bank (NDB), the Lae district administration and the six Ahi villages of Lae.
The MoU has now enabled the NDB to rollout loans to people of the six villages that would help them in small business enterprises.
Managing director of NDB Richard Maru said the signing was done after a two-year period of discussions.
The Lae district’s planning committee (JDP &BPC) through local MP and Ahi villager Bart Philemon are also supportive of the micro-finance scheme run by the bank.
District administrator Buds Botikie yesterday handed over a cheque for K100,000 on behalf of the MP as security for the loans by the villagers.
Mr Botikie challenged the villagers to repay their loans and keep the scheme flowing to benefit them in the long run.
Chairman of Ahi Holdings and spokesman of the Ahi villages Benson Nablu acknowledged the commitment by the local MP.
Ahi Holdings, a company owned by the six Ahi villages, have been involved in transport operations, stevedoring and since the refurbishment of the Lae roads last year, had expanded into civil works.
Mr Nablu said the loans by NDB would go a long way in helping the villagers.
Mr Maru challenged the people to work hard and repay the loans so that the relationship they had could be maintained and the bank would continue to help.
He said the scheme “has worked excellently” for a lot of people in villages of the Tambul-Nebliyer district in Western Highlands province.
In Morobe, the Ahi villages are the first in the scheme.