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Bankers’ Committee Introduce new SME funding initiative to access loan

Bankers’ Committee Introduce new SME funding initiative to access loan

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The Bankers’ Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria has launched  a new initiative to enable Small and Medium-scale Enterprises to access loans, funds and grants to grow their businesses.

The Group Head, Information Technology and Operations Directorate, Unity Bank Plc, Bonaventure Okhaimo, said, “To create the necessary awareness, we are organising a one-day public enlightenment workshop across three states of the federation on how SMEs can access funds, loans and grants available in the Funding Nigeria SMEs’ initiative.

“The initiative, which is part of the government`s economic diversification effort towards increased SMEs’ easy access to intervention funds, is aimed at growing small and medium-scale businesses for effective contribution to the Nigerian economy.”

According to him, sensitisation workshops are billed to hold in Lagos and Kano this month, and in Aba next month.

He said the workshops would be anchored by experts from Deposit Money Banks, the CBN, the Ease of Doing Business team, Bank of Agriculture, Bank of Industry and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria.

Okhaimo encouraged SMEs, particularly agro business owners, farmers, local manufacturers and fabricators, to avail themselves of the opportunity of accessing funds by registering to be a part of the workshop, which he described as the first step towards being beneficiaries of the initiative.

According to a statement, the Funding Nigeria Small and Medium-scale Enterprises initiative is in line with the Federal Government`s commitment to growing SMEs.

Comment(1)

  1. The Bankers’ Committee decision in this direction is very welcome. However, it must see to its successful implementation. There have been many of such policies that failed to address the purpose for which they were established. The MSMEs that really need those loans and funding hardly get them due to cut-throat interest rates and especially undue and frustrating beaurocracy. Although the BOI seemed to be embarking on sensitisation on availability of interventions, the speed of penetrating the huge population of those in that category needs to be improved upon. Lowering the interest rate further well below the 9% is still desirable, considering the high cost of inputs. If the GDP must grow, effective, less cumbersome, encouraging loans policy must be maintained —-the Chinese experience. Finally, I opine that organised private sector like the chambers of commerce should also be courted and be made close collaborators. Prince Mike Akingbade, Otagccima President

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