MSMEs go through difficulties to access N220 billion CBN intervention fund

THE President of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, said Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) accessing the intervention fund of N220 billion issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been a hassle.

Manufacturers expressed the slow rate of disbursing the funds to the MSMEs by the apex bank.

Recall, The CBN launched the MSME Development Fund on August 15, 2013, with a share capital of N220 billion.

The Fund was established in recognition of the significant contributions of the MSME sub-sector to the economy and the existing huge financing gap.

According to the apex bank, ten per cent of the Fund has been devoted to developmental objectives such grants, capacity building and administrative costs.

The CBN said that 60 per cent of the fund must be accessed by female entrepreneurs.

Ninety per cent commercial component will be released to Participating Financial Institutions(PFIs) at 2 per cent for on-lending to MSMEs at a maximum interest rate of 9 per cent per annum.

The CBN said eligible activities to be financed include agricultural value chain, services, cottage industries, artisans, trade and commerce and any income-generating business as may be prescribed by the bank from time to time.

    Data from the apex bank showed that so far it had disbursed only N83 billion from the fund since it was launched to support the MSMEs sub-sector’s contributions to the economy and reduce its funding shortfall.

    Kayode said since he assumed office as the President of ACCI, none of his members has been able to access the fund.

    According to a CBN report published, MSMEs require improved financial support, studies show that Nigeria has a low amount of domestic investment through loans vis-à-vis other emerging markets.

    Majority of the loans granted are issued to large corporate organizations and governments.

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