FG Launches Project To Boost MSMEs In Nigeria

Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria, MSME, Micro, Small and Medium EnterprisesThe Federal Government has launched a nationwide project code-named “MSME Clinics” to address the challenges faced by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in Nigeria.

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, launched the project on Tuesday in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

Professor Osinbajo said that the project would serve as a one stop shop to address challenges faced by small business owners.

The Governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed, who was among the state governors at the event, identified lack of access to finance as one major problem facing the sector.

The Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, however, assured operators that the results from the project would improve the sector.

A study by the National Bureau of Statistics revealed that over 37 million MSMEs operated in Nigeria between 2010 and 2013.

Many of the businesses were said to have operated in the face of several challenges including administrative bottlenecks faced in getting government’s approval to register their businesses.

The project, which is expected to run till February 19, comes as part of the government’s efforts to address some of the challenges.

The facilitators of the project have been asked to interact with small business owners in 21 cities of the federation, with a view to identifying their challenges and providing immediate solutions.

The cities highlighted are Aba, Lagos and Ilorin among others.

Imo Govt. Attracts 1bn Naira From CBN To Support MSMEs

Imo, CBN, MSMEs, Rochas Okorocha,The Imo State government says it will commence the disbursement of one billion naira to operators of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state.

The State government had applied for two billion naira, but got the approval for one billion naira after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had announced that it has earmarked 200 billion naira for MSMEs.

The disbursement plan was disclosed by the state’s Commissioner for Planning, Mr Iyke Njoku, during an interactive session with journalists in Owerri, the Imo State capital in southeast Nigeria.

The commissioner, who is also the Chief Economic Adviser to the State Governor, Mr Rochas Okorocha, explained that the loan was obtained from the apex bank to boost and support MSMEs in the state.

He hinted that the loan was expected to be repaid within a period of one to three years.

Mr Njoku, however, said that the loan would be strictly monitored by the state government to ensure it was not diverted from the purpose it was meant for.

BOI Gives First Phase Of Ooni-Secured Loan To MSMEs

ooni-of-ife-mouThe Bank of Industries (BOI) has commenced the distribution of cheques to 20 beneficiaries under the first phase of the one-billion-Naira Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund in Osun State.

The one-billion-Naira loan project is between the Bank of Industries and the House of Oduduwa under the leadership of the Ooni of Ife, H.I.M, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja the second.

At the presentation of the cheques to the beneficiaries in Ile Ife, Osun State, the acting Managing Directors of BOI, Waheed Olagunju, said the project wass to enable the unemployed become an employer of labour.

He state that the 20 beneficiaries who received 30 million Naira in the first phase have undergone capacity building programme over the last six months to enable them sustain whatever business enterprises they go into.

The BOI boss said he was confident that about 80 to 90 per cent of the beneficiaries would succeed based on the capacity building training they had received.

He further explained that the loan would cover services and Agro-allied ‎businesses with repayment plan ranging between three and five years under a single digit interest rate of 7.5.

The Bank and the House of Oduduwa in Osun State on November 16 signed the one-billion-Naira agreement that would make loan facilities available to both women and youths in Ile-Ife.

‎‎Prominent among the features of the Memorandum of Understanding is the 7.5% interest rate to the beneficiaries.

Oba Ogunwusi signed for the House of Oduduwa while Mr Olagunju, represented the financial institution.

The monarch emphasised the need to get youths empowered, saying it was necessary for the nation’s continuous growth.

BOI Signs Matching Funds’ Agreement With Benue State

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom BIO Matching fundThe Bank of Industry (BOI) has extended its aggressive plan to make funds available to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises across Nigeria to Benue State.

The bank on Tuesday signed a Matching Funds’ agreement with the state government.

So far, the BOI has signed Memorandum of Understanding with 20 states in an effort to empower small businesses and encourage local manufacturers at the state level.

Since the acting Managing Director of the bank, Mr Waheed Olagunju, mounted the saddle eight months ago, the bank has established counterpart funds with Abia, Sokoto and Katsina States.

The latest is the two billion Naira matching fund with the Benue State government, which brings the total sum of funds between BOI and different states to 18.2 billion Naira.

Benue State, which prides itself as the ‘food basket of the nation’, contributes a large per cent of Nigeria’s food production.

It sits quietly by the Benue River in Nigeria’s central region

Seventy per cent of its population embraces farming, cultivating a vast array of food and cash crops, like rice, peanuts, soybeans, citrus, yam, and palm, but many believe the food processing capacity could be further maximised.

Capacity development as well as introduction of modern techniques and equipment in farming are some aspects experts suggest must be explored, but these require huge funds to achieve.

The Governor, Samuel Ortom, who himself is a successful farmer, knows this well. He had invited the BOI to partner with the state.

Mr Ortom urged his people to maximise the opportunity.

After the dotted lines were signed, the Governor joined his colleagues from Abia, Kaduna, Katsina, and Sokoto, who have in the recent past, testified to the quality of leadership at the bank.

Governor Ahmed Advocates Effective Management Of Environment

environment degradation in Nigeria by Governor AhmedThe Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, has called for effective management of the environment to protect the eco-system and save it from depletion.

Governor Ahmed made the call on Monday at a meeting with the executive members of the Kwara State Forestry Stakeholders’ Congress led by its president, Mr Abdullahi Agbobamu.

At the meeting held at the Governor’s Lodge in Ilorin, Mr Ahmed said: “There is a growing concern over poor management of the environment which leads to desertification and depletion of the environment”.

The Governor urged the Congress to avoid engaging in acts that could hurt the environment with a view to saving it from losing its values.

He asked members of the congress to partner with the government in the conservation of the environment and creation of wealth.

“The danger is not in the felling of trees but in not planting more trees to guide against deforestation. Desertification efforts must be made by stakeholders and indeed all Nigerians to protect our environment by embracing the tree planting culture,” the Governor said.

The Kwara State Governor further promised to support the congress through the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises platforms in order to promote their business.

SMEDAN DG Seeks Effective Funding of MSMEs in Nigeria

Ogun state has tasked the government on small and medium scale enterprise SMEsThe Director General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Dr Dikko Radda has advocated the urgent need for the review of the operations of the agency in order to reposition it for effective management of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the country.

He stated this during a strategic management retreat of the agency in Kaduna state, North West Nigeria.

Dr Radda pointed out that Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria have not been effectively funded by government despite the sector’s contribution in the areas of job creation, poverty alleviation and revenue generation.

He told the gathering that access to affordable finance for MSMEs has remained a major challenge to the agency’s inability to nurture such enterprises.

Minister of for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs Aisha Abubakar, while commending the effort of SMEDAN in trying to diversify the economy from the oil sector, tasked the agency to initiate programmes that will boost the micro finance enterprises and also to collaborate with other institutions in both public and private sector in order to create enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

On the other hand, the Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Kaduna State, Mr Shehu Balarabe, called on SMEDAN to unlock all funding opportunities available to MSMEs to enable the state benefit from such programmes.

The retreat is aimed at providing a platform for the review of the agency’s operations over the years and strategically chart the way forward.

It is also aimed at aligning with the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration programme in revamping the productive and service sectors of the Nigerian economy without oil, and creating massive job opportunities for the citizens.

CBN Asks DFIs To Contribute More To Economy

CBNThe Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has challenged the Bank of Industry (BOI) and other Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) to increase their financial contribution to the economy.

The Deputy Governor of CBN, Finance System Stability, Mr Okwu Nnanna, disclosed this on Tuesday, saying that 5 per cent out of 14.7 trillion credit as at June 2015 was unacceptable.

He said that development banks in Nigeria must begin to make significant impact on targeted sectors of the economy to help cushion the nation’s current financial and developmental challenges.

The CBN official highlighted that agriculture, infrastructure as well as Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) were three critical sectors that must grow, adding that only the productivity of Nigeria would determine the strength of the Naira at this time.

He said that the CBN has introduced the set of regulatory guidelines to equip the DFIs to access the capital market for funds to finance critical sectors of the economy.

Some challenges the apex bank said must also be tackled in the development real sector were high levels of non-performing loans, weak risk management and political interference.

Osinbajo Seeks Monitoring Of SMEs To Increase Access To Funds

Yemi-OsinbajoVice President Yemi Osinbajo has called for an effective monitoring and evaluation mechanism for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to enable them access funds to address the existing gaps in the growth of the Nigerian economy.

The Vice President spoke in Abuja on Tuesday, at the 2015 National Medium Enterprises Summit with the theme “Entrepreneurship for National Development: the Place of Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises in the Economy Under the Change Agenda”.

Professor Osinbajo said there were lots of opportunities for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and those who needed funds but lacked the connection to access funds.

The Vice President said that effective coordination among agencies was needed to remove the overlaps and streamline all the different interventions in other to avoid wastes.

According to him, efforts shall be made to ensure ease of doing business, as the current situation makes Nigeria one of the worst places of doing business.

He said the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was determined to give every Nigerian the fair chance to do business by making it easy to get business permits following due process.

Aganga Unveils New Policy For MSMEs Sub Sector

olusegun agangaThe Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga, has unveiled a new policy for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria saying any tier of government that ignores these stronghold of the economy will fail.

Dr Aganga said MSMEs represent over 90 percent of the businesses in Nigeria and employs over 84 percent of the country’s labour force, insisting that it requires a policy that attracts the appropriate investments on that sector.

He said the revised National Policy is necessary, especially as Nigeria most requires a diversified economy, divergence from oil and increase in non-oil output to sustain growth and keep the country out of risk.

As at 2010, when the first ever national MSMEs survey was conducted in Nigeria, there were about 17.3 million MSMEs employing 32.4 million persons and contributing about 46.54% to the nation’s GDP in nominal terms.

The statistics have increased five years later, and the outstanding results have given key players in the commerce sector reason to revisit the national policy in the sub-sector towards guided economic growth and development.

While Mr Aganga maintains that necessary mechanisms must be put in place to support MSMEs, experts believe that for industrialization to succeed, a robust MSME sub-sector is required, insisting that it is not the government that creates jobs but rather enterprises.

Kaduna Commences Disbursement Of N1 bn MSME Funds

kaduna stateThe Kaduna State Government on Thursday commenced the disbursement of another N1 billion naira intervention fund to support operators of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state.

The programme, which was executed in partnership with the Bank of Industry (BOI), was to support the accelerated development of the state through job creation, where the BOI and Kaduna state government contributed N500m each under a programme tagged ‘Graduate Support Grant’

Speaking at the flag-off ceremony, Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Nuhu Bajoga, who represented Governor Muhtar Yero, described the intervention as very critical and a major component for economic rejuvenation and prosperity of the state.

He further explained that the main aim of the programme is to empower the citizens, especially the graduates and also reduce the level of crime and poverty in the state.

Meanwhile, a mild drama ensued midway into the programme  when hundreds of graduate trainees under the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN)  stormed the venue with placards, demanding the State Governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, to release the N1 billion Graduate Empowerment Loan promised to them over five months ago after their training.

Chanting anti-government songs, the aggrieved Youths blocked the Deputy Governor’s convoy as it made its way out of Hassan Katsina House, where the event was held.

They alleged that they were promised by the government to be empowered with money to set up their own businesses immediately after their training.

The Youths also alleged that they were asked to register with money for them to be entitled to benefit from the N1 billion loan.

However, in a swift reaction, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Shekarau Uchissa, denied the allegations saying the state government only went into capacity building where 1000 youths were trained in different skills, but were not promised any money.

C/River: 700 Enterprises Receive N1.4 Billion From MSMEDF

MSMEDF Disbursement In Cross RiverSeven hundred enterprises in Cross River State have benefited from the disbursement of 2billion naira of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Fund (MSMEDF) , south-south Nigeria.

The disbursement exercise which was carried out in Calabar, the state capital, through Cross River State Micro-finance and Enterprise Development Agency (MEDA), was the Phase one of the scheme which saw beneficiaries access a total of 1.4billion naira of the 2billion naira fund.

Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke, said at the ceremony, that he was impressed about the participation of youths and women in the scheme, who according to him are new generation of entrepreneurs.

The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, who was represented by the State Control, Graham Kalio, disclosed that the latest survey in the country indicated that there were about 17.3 million MSMEs in operation, pointing that most of them were facing serious financial access challenges, with the gap put at N9.6 trillion.

According to him, CBN has identified those challenges and new measures of distribution to ensure direct access of funds to beneficiaries and aid them in expanding their businesses.

CBN’s N220 Billion Fund Will Help SME’s Boost Economy – Analysts

Analysts have said that the Central Bank of Nigeria’s N220 billion fund for micro, small and medium enterprises development fund will help the sub-sector boost the economy.

According to the CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido, the fund will give entrepreneurs access to cheaper funds on longer terms.

The former head of Corporate Communications, CBN, Tony Ede said “no country can grow and develop without adequate funding of small and medium scale entreprises” because they employ more than the larger companies. Hence there’s a need to make that sector work, on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise.

He identified lack of management skills as the major problem of operators in this sub sector.

However, a management consultant, Obiora Onyeaso, said funding is the initial challenge for people in the sub sector, adding that there are other kinds of issues like management, environment and multiple taxation.

“There are all kinds of issues but funding remains the primary issue for lots of businesses.” He said.

He explained that the N220 billion fund is for “those MFI’s (Micro Finance Institutions) that have been successful at lending out funds and recovering those funds.”

Following complaints that commercial banks in Nigeria only give short-term loans, Mr Onyeaso said that “every bank determines how much risk it wants to carry” and this determines the loan terms individuals can obtain.

Mr Obiora also said that the funds should be pushed out by the last quarter of the year 2013.