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.

Lawmakers Promise More Support For Nigerian SMEs

Lawmakers Promise More Support For Nigerian SMEsPaucity of funds and lack of business registration have been identified as perennial challenges to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in Nigeria.

Director General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Dr Umaru Radda, brought this to the fore while briefing the House of Representatives Committee on Industry during an oversight visit to industrial development centres in Lagos state.

Experts have identified small and medium scale enterprises as having the potential to boost any dwindling economy and the Nigerian authorities have been looking to SMEs as a way of reviving the economy.

The Director General of SMEDAN gave a situation report to the delegation from the National Assembly on the state of MSMEs in Nigeria and their budget performance in the current year.

After the briefing, the delegation moved to the Industrial Development Centre (IDC) in Ikorodu area of the state which is one of the 23 IDCs across the country.

There, most of the facilities are dilapidated from lack of use with most of the equipment, gathering dust.

The Chairman, House Committee on Industry, Mr Abubakar Moriki, then promised to turn the tide of the entrepreneurs by reviving the IDC.

The lawmakers succeeded in boosting the confidence of the entrepreneurs there that soon, the IDCs across the country would be revived.

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.

FG To Restructure YouWin Programme

Minister-of-Finance-Mrs-Kemi-Adeosun-PayrollThe Nigerian government is set to begin the restructuring and refocusing of the multi-billion Naira Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YouWin) programme.

Consultations with beneficiaries and other stakeholders on the restructuring has started with the objective of injecting new ideas for its sustainability, a statement by a director with the Ministry of Finance, Salisu Dambatta, said.

The Ministry, which has been running the programme from inception, has scheduled the consultation for July 22 in Abuja, where representatives of the beneficiaries drawn from the six-geo-political zones and other stakeholders would chart a way forward for the programme.

Under the programme, which took off under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011, a total of 18, 000 young entrepreneurs have been trained in various aspects of Small and Medium Enterprises management and business skills.

At least 3, 900 of them, including 1, 200 women, were each given non-repayable take-off grants for businesses of their choice ranging from one million Naira up to a maximum of 10 million Naira.

The statement read: “The third edition of the programme, which is still running with 1,500 beneficiaries, has received the sum of 11.2 billion Naira in funding, and so far grants totaling 7.4 billion Naira have been disbursed to the awardees. In June 2016 alone, the sum of 1.687 billion Naira was paid to 638 awardees”.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, said that as part of the change agenda of the current administration, the YouWin programme had to be restructured to ensure efficiency, transparency and accountability in investing the capital grants given to the beneficiaries by the Federal Government.

Mrs Adeosun confirmed that all government’s commitments under the YouWIN programme would be fully met, but stressed that due diligence would be carried out on every beneficiary, using tools like the Bank Verification Number (BVN), and before disbursements.

Ogun State To Boost Farming With Revolving Loan

AgricultureThe Ogun State Government in Nigeria’s south-west says it is reinvigorating the state’s commercial agricultural credit scheme to provide revolving loans to farmers in the state to boost their farming activities.

Cassava, rice and palm farmers and those in production and the crops value chains are some of those targeted by the state to benefit from the programme.

The State’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Mrs Ronke Sokefun, gave a hint about the planned loan at a one day sensitisation programme for farmers on agricultural development projects in Abeokuta, the capital of the state.

She promised the farmers a better day through favourable deliberate policies and programmes in the agricultural sector.

The Commissioner, however, asked farmers to pay up their loans so that others could benefit from the revolving loan.

Several small scale farmers, cooperative societies, and agricultural groups attended the programme where issues bothering on the development of the sector were discussed.

Cattle rustling, mechanised farming, the re-invigoration of the extension services and agro services topped talks.

Mrs Sokefun explained that some of the current initiatives of the government were aimed at improving the sector and boosting productivity.

The resolutions arrived at during the sensitisation programme are expected to form a fulcrum for the improvement of agricultural practice in the state, as the state finds means of diversifying its economic base.

Stakeholders Task Government On Business Climate In Nigeria

NIPC-businessThe Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Mrs. Uju Aisha Hassan, has called on the government to develop reform initiatives that will help improve the business climate in Nigeria.

Mrs Hassan said this during the National Business Summit for North Central Zone organized by Daily Trust Newspaper in Minna, Niger State.

She lamented the state of infrastructure in the country, particularly in Niger State, saying there is need for improvement in order to attract mega projects and investments.

According to her, the business environment of a country is a key factor in its ability to attract Foreign Direct Investment and develop Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

“Recent ratings of World Bank doing business on registering property, Nigeria ranked 181 out of 189 countries, in dealing with construction permits (175 out of 189) and paying taxes (181 out of 189). These ratings which are majorly carried out at States level are low.”

Mrs. Hassan, however, recommended state governments to start considering Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in building critical infrastructure with massive investment in the development of industrial parks, road and water transportation and small power plants to service industrial areas.

The NIPC Boss also stressed on the need for the North-Central zone to engage itself with carefully designed and enduring policies and incentive structure that would make the investment climate in the zone conducive for investment.

“The North-Central zone must ensure good governance and transparency in the affairs of public and private enterprises and should expand its core focus to agriculture, solid minerals, tourism and other sectors which it has comparative advantage.

“It should as well increase the incentives offered to include establishment of Free Trade Zone and industrial parks, to further facilitate attraction of investment.”

In his address, the Chief Operating Officer of Daily Trust, Abhay Desai, said the aim of the Summit was to explore the possibilities of unlocking the potentials of Nigeria beyond the scope of oil.

He stressed on the need for the people in the North-Central to be involved in the economic development of the zone.

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.

CBN Reaffirms Commitment To Improving Agriculture Sector

CBNThe Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining and improving on the impact of existing programs that support development in the agriculture sector such as the agricultural credit scheme among others.

This formed part of a statement read at the 6th Bankers Annual Retreat with the theme; “Financing Real Sector Growth in Nigeria” held in Calabar, the Cross River State Capital, by the CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele.

According to the CBN, with its attendant impact on the GDP and job creation, agriculture remains the critical focus sector of the Nigerian financial system, particularly the banking sector.

Reading out the areas of focus as resolved at the retreat, the CBN boss Godwin Emefiele disclosed that, CBN will massively channel resources in agriculture, power and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises sectors of the economy aimed at boosting the country’s import substitution and diversification strategies.

According to the CBN Governor, the Bankers also expressed full conviction in the fact that the long term success of the banking sector lied in the growth of these sectors, as about 100 companies in Nigeria account for more than 75% of the loans which the banks offer.

Through this platform over the years, the Bankers committee has made significant progress in transforming the Nigerian financial system into an enabler and an engine of real sector growth, through its advocacy, intervention and dedicated support by increase in lending to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise leading to growth in the Agriculture sector.

The 2014 Annual Retreat also believes the CBN’s financial inclusion policy is gradually but steadily ushering more Nigerians into the formal financial system, and applauded the complementary role of Nigeria’s telecom operators in this regard.

There was also renewed commitment for continuous interventions in lending to micro, small and medium enterprises (SME’s) as well as advocacy and finance to the power sector.

CBN Signs N220B SME Fund With State Governments

CBN Logo The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has signed a multi-billion naira Medium Enterprise Development Fund with the 36 state governments.

The CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, who announced a loan of N220 billion for development of Small and Medium Enterprises across the country at a meeting with the state governors, said the fund will ensure wealth creation and poverty reduction in the country.

Emefiele also said sixty percent of the funds will be disbursed to women at a single digit interest rate

However, the modalities for disbursing the loan did not go down well with the state governors who were present at the meeting

The governors, which include the governors of Akwa Ibom, Ogun and Oyo states, called for an upward review of the loan scheme and the removal of bureaucracy in accessing the loan.

Statistics as at 2010 reveals that funding gap of S.M.E’s stands at nine point six trillion naira

 

 

2013 Economic Review: Analysts Advocate Support For Local Industry

Experts in Nigeria’s banking and commerce industries have emphasized the need for Nigeria to develop infrastructure if its dream of building local industry would be fulfilled in the year 2014.

A Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, CIBN, Alex Ananeje, made this statement while appearing on the breakfast programme, Sunrise on Channels Television.

A Director of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, Dele Alimi, who was also a guest on the programme, added that there is no way the Nigerian economy can grow if the government does not provide an enabling environment for local businesses to thrive.

On its final edition for the year 2013, the programme sought to do a review of Nigeria’s performance during the year, and according to Alimi, “If we solve the problem of power in Nigeria, you will be shocked at the level of growth that will follow.”

While making his case for the Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, Mr Alimi noted that statistics have shown that SMEs are responsible for over 30 million jobs in Nigeria. A figure he said means that they actually drive the economy. Therefore the country cannot afford to let the sector suffer.

Although, he agreed that the structure of many SMEs in Nigeria is not good enough, especially when the need to access funding is concerned, as only few lenders would want to release money to some of these small businesses considering the way they are run, but because the country needs that sector to thrive, then it must do all things to help business owners restructure their ventures; a role he said the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, has been taking seriously.

Looking back at 2013, Mr Ananeje said that we (Nigeria) “could have done better as far as our economy is concerned”

Mr Alimi however added a different perspective to how much below par Nigeria’s economic performance had been during the year. He said that the cost of governance in Nigeria is too high, and there have been no real efforts to bring it down.

He alleged that the efforts made by the government, claiming to have reduced the salaries of government officials are deceptive, arguing that they only reduced their basic salaries while the large allowances are still being paid.

He asked for renewed policies to drive the economy, starting with developing programmes that will affect the people directly; from the farmers to the barbershop owners. He said that we need to build an economy where a barber can start his business without first bothering about acquiring a power generator.

Looking ahead, Alex Ananeje warned that the country is going to have some serious challenges in 2014, especially for the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN: “We are entering the election year and more money will be pumped into the system, there has to be a stronger monetary policy put in place”