Home Business FG To Facilitate Concessionary Funding For SMEs

FG To Facilitate Concessionary Funding For SMEs

ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – The Federal Government will facilitate ‘well planned concessionary funding initiatives’ that will help Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises overcome the problem of access to low cost financing,President Muhammadu Buhari said on Tuesday.
In a speech delivered on his behalf in Abuja, by Vice President Yemi  Osinbajo, the President said SMEs were grossly undeserved in terms of low cost financing, adding that reasons for this could include how to deal with the sheer scale of numbers of SMEs that need to access concessionary funds in order to make an appreciable impact, amongst others.
He spoke in Abuja at the SME Financing Conference with the theme ’Bridging the Nigerian SME Funding Gap’ convened by the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce, Kaduna State Chapter and the Economic Affairs Section of the United States  Embassy. He assured that working through co-operatives and trade organisations, the funding could be accessed by large numbers of SMEs.
He said the importance of financing SMEs has never been lost on the government, but for lack of access to affordable loans, adding that several deliberate and sustained financial initiatives have been put in place by the Central Bank of Nigeria except that SMEs still remain grossly undeserved.
He listed co-operatives, market-women and trade groups, artisans and start-up companies as veritable partners who are being engaged towards the creation of wealth with overall goal of boosting job creation and ultimately economic growth and development.
“This would be the main focus of our engagement with SME sector. We believe that working through the co-operatives, Market and Trade organizations, credit can reach the largest numbers,” he said.
The Central Bank had in 2003 put in place an entrepreneurship funding initiative where banks set aside 10 percent of their annual profit before tax for equity investment schemes in SMEs.
In 2010, the CBN approved N500 billion debentures stocks issued by the Bank of Industry (BO1) out of which N200 billion was set aside for re-financing and re-structuring of banks existing portfolios’ to Nigerian SME manufacturing sector, offered at a seven percent interest rate, to address challenges in growth of SMEs.
[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]
On why the SMEs have always being underserved, Buhari said there are large numbers of SMEs that need access to concessionary funds in order to make an appreciable impact.
He, however, challenged conference participants to come up with solutions so that SMEs in the rural areas could have access to funds and how best to make the process of accessing these funds less cumbersome. He also commended the deep commitment and collaboration of the United States Government with the administration.
Earlier, the US Assistant Secretary of State, Economic and Business Affairs,  Charles Rivkin in his address, said when it’s good for SMEs in any country, it is good for everybody and with the huge population potentials of Nigeria, SMEs remain the driver if adequate and easy-to-access funds are allocated to the sector.
Previous articleBuhari, Obasanjo in closed door parley ‎
Next articleNigeria sliding into dictatorship, says PDP Governors Forum

Leave a Reply