Abuja - Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have the potentials to boost production, create jobs, reduce poverty and ensure inclusive economic growth and development in the country.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, said this at the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the 36 State Governments on "MSMEs Development Fund’’ in Abuja on Thursday.
The CBN boss said that in spite of global recognition, MSMEs in Nigeria had not received adequate financing needed to play their pivotal roles as development trajectories.
Emefiele said CBN initiated the funds as an innovative way of improving access to finances at single digit interest rates by MSMEs in order to unlock their potentials.
He said the state governments would be able to access up to N2 billion each for on-lending to eligible beneficiaries through participating financial institutions in their states.
Emefiele said CBN would ensure that the funds got to people at the bottom of the country’s economic and social pyramid at a maximum of nine per cent interest rate.
He also said 60 percent of the funds would be given to women, adding that they turned out better yields than men.
Gov. Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom commended the CBN for initiating policies that bothered on poverty reduction in the country.
Akpabio, however, stated that the N220 billion set aside for the initiative was relatively small, considering the size of the country, the rate of unemployment and its economic potentials.
Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State urged the apex bank to carry out needs assessment of the states, adding that the number of MSMEs varied from state to state.
Ajimobi said there was need to disburse the funds according to the size and needs of the MSMEs in various states of the federation.
Gov. Emmanuel Oduaghan of Delta said the funds should be channelled through the states owned microfinance banks to allow easy access by the people.
Gov. Rauf Aregbesola of Osun said the best way to address the country’s economic challenges was by empowering the MSMEs and creating opportunities for the youths.
Aregbesola said if about 50 million youths in the country were involved in economic activities, the country’s earning would be increased.
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