The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, has said that N132bn has been earmarked for providing financial services to women from the N220bn Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund.
The amount earmarked for women represents 60 per cent of the total fund.
The fund was inaugurated on August 15, 2013 and was aimed at channelling long-term, low-interest funds to the MSME sector of the economy through participating financial institutions.
During a sensitisation workshop on MSMEDF, organized by the CBN in Ilorin on Monday, Sanusi, who was represented by the Branch Controller, CBN, Ilorin, Mr. Monday Olotewo, said in operating the fund, a special consideration would be given to institutions that will provide financial services to graduates of the CBN’s Entrepreneurship Development Centres.
He added that the specific objective of the fund was to reach no fewer than two million MSMEs in 10 years.
He said, “The MSMED Fund has two broad objectives namely; social and commercial. The Social/Development Fund shall constitute 10 per cent, broken down as follows: grants – five per cent; interest drawback – three per cent and managing agents’ operational costs – two per cent.
“The commercial fund shall constitute 90 per cent of the fund as follows: wholesale funding – 90 per cent of the commercial component; and guarantee/refinancing – 10 per cent of the commercial component.”
Sanusi stated that the CBN believed that developing the MSMEs was the key to economic advancement and wealth creation.
He added that to ensure a sustainable economic development programme, policies and guidelines must be designed in such a way that all factors and peculiar needs and requirements of stakeholders were noted and addressed.
The Director, Development Finance Department, CBN, Mr. Paul Eluhaiwe, who was represented by the department’s Manager, Mr. Daniel Inyang, said the MSMEDF was one the CBN interventions for grassroots economic development.
He added that a number of stakeholders had been identified as participants under the fund.
He stated that the commitment of all stakeholders was required for the objectives of the fund to be fully achieved.
The Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, represented by his Special Assistant, Small & Medium Enterprises Development, Mr. Lukman Adams, said MSMEs were pivotal for economic growth, increased productivity and industrialisation.
The Deputy Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Prof. Mohammed Yisa, appealed to the CBN to make the criteria for the stakeholders to access the fund less cumbersome.
He urged the apex bank to ensure a timely disbursement of the fund.
Noting that some intervention funds in the past were not judiciously applied, Yisa called on the CBN to ensure that the N220bn MSMEDF reached the target beneficiaries.