The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) has so far received over N100 billion from the coffers of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to support the country’s economic recovery and growth, even as another N60 billion is still in the kitty to fund their counterparts in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.
This was disclosed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor Godwin Emefiele in an address titled ‘Strengthening the Economic Recovery Process in Nigeria’, during the annual Bankers’ Dinner, organized by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Lagos.
The governor of the Apex bank said that the bank understands that the major challenge faced by MSMEs is access to credit and to unlock their growth potential they must have access to funding.
According to the CBN governor, “Our efforts at supporting small-scale farmers and SMEs is based on our awareness of the critical role they can play in supporting our economic recovery and growth, as well as in creating job opportunities for millions of Nigerians. So far, the CBN has, through its MSME fund, disbursed over N100 billion to the MSME sector, but we still feel a lot can be done. Under the auspices of the Bankers Committee, the sum of over N60 billion has so far been set aside under the AGSMIES fund to fund Micro Small and Medium enterprise businesses in the agriculture and Manufacturing sectors of our economy. The CBN recognizes that the greatest challenge confronting the MSMES and local farmers is access to credit and that to unlock the growth potentials in our country; this group must access funding seamlessly. In response to this challenge, the CBN will in due course take action that will directly bring banking services to the rural communities through licensing of a national Microfinance Bank to be located in all local governments in Nigeria, through which credit can be channelled to our rural communities. We will continue to explore ways, in partnering with the fiscal authorities, on how we can best provide farmers and SMEs with the support they need to expand their operations.”
He also weighed in on the 41 banned items.
“Any attempt to reverse the course of this actions may have untold consequences on the growth trajectory of our economy particularly in our push to diversify and restructure our economy.
“The CBN’s Economic intelligence and Banking Supervision Departments will work very hard with the EFCC to expose and sanction any bank, company or foreign exchange(forex) operator that colludes with unscrupulous individuals/ companies to undermine the policy on 41 items,” he said.