Fri. Apr 16th, 2021

FG To Empower MSMEs With N379bn Syndicated Loan

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Victoria Ogunrinde

As part of its efforts towards economic recovery and sustainable growth, the Bank of Industry under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has concluded a $1bn syndicated term loan in conjunction with international partners to further support Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in the country.

Based on the Central Bank of Nigeria official exchange rate, the $1bn translates to N379bn.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo said the loan is aimed at “further improving the capacity of the bank to effectively support Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises across key sectors of the Nigerian economy with affordable loans of medium to long-term tenor, alongside moratorium benefits.

Adebayo who disclosed this on Monday at the Quantum Mechanics Limited MSME Survival Fund Capacity Building Programme in Abuja, also said there is an ongoing discussion with Dunn & Bradstreet to establish an SME risk rating agency – the SME Rating Agency of Nigeria, to provide an empirical basis towards analysing the eligibility of SMEs to access credit.

The Minister who spoke on efforts of the Federal Government at supporting the MSME in the country said, “I will like to reiterate that our Ministry fully supports MSMEs, as demonstrated by our MSME Survival Fund Initiative which was launched in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic by the Federal Government as part of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan; aimed at protecting MSME businesses from the shocks of the Pandemic.”

He said the Fund comprises the he Payroll Support Scheme which aims to support MSMEs in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs by paying up to N50,000 to a maximum of 10 employees in each MSME for three months; the Artisan and Transport Grant which supports self-employed artisans with a one-off payment of N30,000 targeting 333,000 individuals and the General MSME Grant which will provide 100,000 MSMEs with one-off grants of N50,000 each.

Others are the Guaranteed Off-take Scheme which will engage approximately 100,000 businesses across the country to produce items typically manufactured in their locality, targeting 300,000 beneficiaries; and free registration of companies for 250,000 beneficiaries.

He explained that the survival fund was estimated to save at least 1.3 million jobs across the country, while strengthening the growth potential of beneficiary businesses.

He stressed that the successful implementation of the scheme so far has contributed immensely to quickly pulling Nigeria out of the Covid-19-induced recession

The Minister said the National MSMEs Clinics also support the growth of small businesses across the country through the provision of critical infrastructure, with twenty-six of such clinics having impressive results.

He further disclosed that the Nigerian Export Promotion Council has launched the Export Expansion Facility under the NESP, to support the resilience of new and existing MSMEs to respond to the shocks of the COVID-19 Pandemic to retain and create more jobs, especially youth and women businesses through the Youth Export Development Programme and Promoting Women Inclusiveness in Non-Oil Export.

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