The Federal Government has said that the Bank of Industry (BoI), under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, has secured a $1 billion syndicated loan to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
The loan is expected to improve the capacity of the bank to effectively support MSMEs across key sectors of the Nigerian economy.
This disclosure was made by the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, at the Quantum Mechanics Limited MSMEs Survival Fund capacity building programme in Abuja on Monday, March 22, 2021.
Adebayo said the loan facility, which has some benefits that include long-term tenor and moratorium, is being implemented in collaboration with international partners and is part of the government’s efforts toward economic recovery and sustainable growth.
What the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment is saying
Adebayo in his statement said, “There is an ongoing discussion with Dunn and Bradstreet to establish an SMEs Ratings Agency of Nigeria (SMERAN) to provide an empirical basis toward analysing the eligibility of SMEs to access credit.’’
The Minister noted that the ministry launched the MSMEs Survival Fund Initiative, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, as part of the Federal Government’s support to MSMEs development in the country.
He said the initiative, which is part of the Federal Government’s Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP), is aimed at protecting MSMEs businesses from the shocks of the pandemic.
The Minister said, “The fund comprises the Payroll Support Scheme which aims at supporting MSMEs in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs by paying up to N50,000 to a maximum of 10 employees for three months.
“The Artisan and Transport Grant supports self-employed artisans with a one-off payment of N30,000 targeting 333,000 individuals. The General MSMEs Grant will provide 100,000 MSMEs with one-off grants of N50,000 each.
“And the Guaranteed Offtake Scheme aims at engaging approximately, 100,000 businesses nationwide to produce items typically manufactured in their locality, targeting 300,000 beneficiaries. The scheme supports free registration of companies for 250,000 beneficiaries,” he said.
He explained that the fund was also estimated to save at least, 1.3 million jobs across the country while strengthening the growth potential of beneficiary businesses.
The minister said the National MSMEs Clinics also supported the growth of small businesses across the country through the provision of critical infrastructure, with 26 of such clinics showing impressive results.
He further disclosed that the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), had launched the Export Expansion Facility (EEF) under the NESP, to support the resilience of new and existing MSMEs to respond to Covid-19 pandemic shocks.