9 States access N220b SMEs Fund – Aganga

By The Citizen

The Federal Government, yesterday that about nine states of the federation have fully accessed the N220billion Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) fund floated last year for the development of the sector.

Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, gave the hint after the inaugural meeting of the National Council on micro, small and medium enterprises set up by President Goodluck Jonathan to grow the economy.

Aganga said the council meeting presided by Vice President Namadi Sambo set up a smaller committee headed by the minister of National Planning to draw up modalities that will further ease access to the SME fund.

According to the minister, about 19 more states have completed the process and complied with the terms establishing the fund and are at the stage of also accessing it.

He added that as a measure of improving access to easy financing in the country, the council is also considering the need to strengthen credit bureaus, business development providers and the establishment of leasing agencies.

He said the World Bank had already agreed to help establish one of such bureaus in each state of the six zones in the country.

Aganga noted that since inauguration some sub-committees have been working to sort out issues on the access to finance as well as access to marketing.

He listed the committees to include sub-committee on developing the institutional framework and policies, sub-committee on infrastructure and reducing the cost of doing business for MSMEs, we have the committee for innovation and technology for SME's.