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FG to spend $1 billion on credit to small businesses

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The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, has said the 1 billion syndicated term loan secured by the Bank of Industry (BoI) will be used to provide affordable credit to small businesses.

Adebayo, in a statement made available to The Guardian by his media aide, Ifedayo Sayo, at the Quantum Mechanics Limited MSME Survival Fund Capacity Building Programme in Abuja, also said there is an ongoing discussion with Dunn & Bradstreet to establish an SME risk rating agency – the SME Rating Agency of Nigeria (SMERAN) – to provide an empirical basis towards analysing the eligibility of SMEs to access credit.

BoI had concluded a $1billion syndicated term loan in conjunction with international partners to further support Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSME) in the country.

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The Minister who spoke on efforts of the Federal Government at supporting the MSME in the country said: “I will like to reiterate that our Ministry fully supports MSMEs, as demonstrated by our MSME Survival Fund Initiative which was launched in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic by the Federal Government as part of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) aimed at protecting MSME businesses from the shocks the Pandemic.”

He explained that the survival fund was estimated to save at least 1.3 million jobs across the country while strengthening the growth potential of beneficiary businesses, stressing that the successful implementation of the scheme so far, has contributed immensely to quickly pulling Nigeria out of the Covid-19-induced recession

The Minister said the National MSMEs Clinics also support the growth of small businesses across the country through the provision of critical infrastructure, with twenty-six of such clinics having impressive results.

He further disclosed that the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has launched the Export Expansion Facility (EEF) under the NESP, to support the resilience of new and existing MSMEs to respond to the shocks of the COVID-19 Pandemic to retain and create more jobs, especially youth and women businesses through the Youth Export Development Programme (YEDP) and Promoting Women Inclusiveness in Non-Oil Export.

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