‘CBN disburses N60b from SMED fund’
THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday said it had disbursed the sum of N60 billion from the N220 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund.
The Special Adviser to the CBN Governor on Development Finance, Mr. Paul Eluhaiwe, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja during the flag-off of the disbursement of the fund to the physically-challenged persons, said contrary to claims in some quarters that the fund was not being disbursed, the apex bank had been making the fund available to entrepreneurs that have met the laid-down criteria.
He said while the criteria may be stringent, the CBN was just being careful in order to ensure that those who actually got the fund have the ability to repay.
Eluhaiwe said: “There are conditions for Micro Finance Bank to meet before they can assess the fund, and entrepreneurs also have to meet the conditions before the fund can be disbursed to them.
“So, it takes a lot of rigour to put on the table resources for entrepreneurs to use. As we speak, we have disbursed over N60 billion out of this fund.
“We don’t want to make mistake; we want to disburse the fund and make sure people pay back for others to assess the fund.
“The CBN will take what it takes to disburse funds because we are dealing with banking and we want to make the fund sustainable.”
He, therefore, urged the physically-challenged persons who had benefitted from the fund to make efficient use of it, adding that the apex bank’s objective to ensure financial inclusion was responsible for the move.
“As we speak, a similar thing is happening in Osun State, the state gave a lot of resources to people with special disabilities.
“In Delta State, they have also given the fund and Benue State also did the same thing. The fund is N220 billion for MSME and as we move from state to state, we continue to work with them.”
The Emir of the disabled colony in Abuja, Alhaji Mohammed Suleiman, while appreciating the apex bank for the gesture, assured that the fund would be deployed for the required purpose for which it was meant.
“We appreciate the money given to the people. Our people won’t put the CBN to shame; we will use the fund effectively to prove to the world that there is ability in disability.
“If the CBN had started this long time ago, the rate of poverty in the country would have been brought down drastically,” he said.