Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have the potentials to boost production, create jobs, reduce poverty and ensure inclusive economic growth and development in the country. The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, said this at the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the 36 State Governments on “MSMEs Development Fund” in Abuja.
The CBN boss said that in spite of global recognition, MSMEs in Nigeria had not received adequate financing needed to play their pivotal roles as development trajectories. He said a joint report by the International Financing Corporation and McKinsey indicated that financing gap of the critical sector of the Nigerian economy was N9.6 trillion as at 2010.
Emefiele said CBN initiated the funds as an innovative way of improving access to finances at single digit interest rates by MSMEs in order to unlock their potentials.
He said the state governments would be able to access up to N2 billion each for on-lending to eligible beneficiaries through participating financial institutions in their states.
Emefiele said CBN would ensure that the funds got to people at the bottom of the country’s economic and social pyramid at a maximum of nine per cent interest rate.
He also said 60 per cent of the funds would be given to women, adding that they turned out better yields than men.
According to him, the CBN will be committing considerable human and material resources to monitoring the disbursement and utilisation of the funds in a robust and verifiable manner. “Participating financial institutions will be required to submit periodic returns on disbursement as well as analysis of the social impact of these funds on our people”, he said. The CBN boss implored the state Governors to assist the apex bank to achieve its goals by ensuring that the funds were deployed in an efficient manner.