Friday, July 25, 2014 4:51 am
Abuja – Governor of Nigeria’s apex bank Mr. Godwin Emefiele has said, in spite of global recognition, MSMEs in Nigeria has not received adequate financing needed to play their pivotal roles as development trajectories.
Central Bank of Nigeria Governor said, 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,
Speaking at the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the 36 State Governments on “MSMEs Development Fund” in Abuja on Thursday, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria said, in spite of global recognition, MSMEs in Nigeria has not received adequate financing needed to play their pivotal roles as development trajectories.
He said a joint report by the International Financing Corporation and McKinsey indicated that financing gap of the critical sector of the Nigerian economy was N9.6 trillion as at 2010.
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 per cent of the funds would be given to women, adding that they turned out better yields than men.
According to him, the CBN will be committing considerable human and material resources to monitoring the disbursement and utilisation of the funds in a robust and verifiable manner.
“Participating financial institutions will be required to submit periodic returns on disbursement as well as analysis of the social impact of these funds on our people’’, he said.
The CBN boss implored the state Governors to assist the apex bank to achieve its goals by ensuring that the funds were deployed in an efficient manner.
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.
He also urged the CBN to review the procedures involved in the disbursement of the fund to enable it get to the targeted population without difficulties.
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.
Oduaghan said if microfinance banks were encouraged to handle the funds, more jobs would be created and more people involved in economic activities at the local level.
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.