CBN TO SET UP N200BN MSME FUND
Reprieve seems to be coming the way of small business owners in Nigeria as the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Lamido Sanusi has announced the establishment of a N200 billion MSME Development Fund before the end of the year.
Speaking at the third D-8 (Developing 8 Countries) working group meeting in Abuja organised by Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), the apex bank boss said the fund would be a veritable source of funding for small businesses in the country.
He explained that that was the practice in most developing economies around the globe.
Speaking through a deputy director, Mr. Musa Ademu, Mallam Sanusi regretted a situation where small businesses in the countries continued to 'suffer marked exclusion from the formal credit market.' He blamed that on 'poor understanding of the SME sector by Nigerian banks, lack of management skills, failing infrastructure post-banking consolidation, etc.'
'MSMEs play a major role in Nigeria's economy with about 95 per cent of firms in the organised manufacturing sector recognised as SMEs accounting for about 75 per cent industrial employment, yet contributing a mere 10 per cent to GDP.
'To reverse this development and make MSMEs truly the engine of growth in Nigeria, the various governments of Nigeria and the central bank have over the years intervened in providing a number of financing windows. The performance of these schemes has not been as expected due to problems ranging from lack of long-term financing and poor infrastructure as well as inadequate management skill and entrepreneurial capacity.'
Also speaking at the event, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, said the ministry's NIRP (Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan) would provide the framework for fast-tracking the country's industrial revolution and attracting investments into the critical sectors of the economy.