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CBN fund to empower SMEs

16 August 2013, 08:37Henry Ifeanyi

Lagos - Nigeria's economy is poised for growth following the Central Bank of Nigeria's (CBN) launch of a N220 billion (US$1.32 billion) micro, small and medium enterprises fund.

Lamido Sanusi, the CBN Governor, confirmed the availability of the funds, which will see 60 percent lent to women at an interest rate of nine percent.

Sanusi said access to the fund will help alleviate poverty and create jobs for the youth in the country.

The availability of the fund comes amid a period when growth in the informal sector has experienced setbacks as a result of inconsistent policy, high interest rate and poor infrastructure.

Lending to small businesses reduced from 7 percent to 0.1 percent between 2003 to date.

Concern has also been raised on the lack of opportunities made available to women in the Nigerian economy.

Sanusi expressed hope that the provision of funds will change the fortunes of the sector as well as enhance the participation of women in the economy.

- CAJ News


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