Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State and GovernorNasir el- Rufai of Kaduna State are special guests expected at the maiden edition of the International MSME Expedition hosted by the Cross River State Governor, Sen. (Prof). Ben Ayade in his commitment to help small businesses access capital and create jobs.

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The event tagged TINAPA MSME 2016 will take place in the Cross Rivers State capital on the 5th and 6th of August, 2016 and will feature discussions that border on lending for SME, a capacity building conference where initiatives to shore up lending for small businesses will be addressed, an investors’ dinner and award night where financial institutions will receive awards for their efforts to promote entrepreneurship in the country.

According to the National Coordinator, International MSME Expedition (IME), Mr Godfrey Sunday, using the model of the Calabar carnival which draws million of people to Cross Rivers state every year, the event which is the first of its kind for SMEs will also attract over 5000 people to Cross Rivers State yearly to what will soon be known as the MSME festival in Nigeria.

Sunday said: ”Small businesses are the backbone of any economy. Unfortunately they are also the ones most hit during any economic meltdown which is why in addition to ensuring international networking and partnerships opportunities for the MSMEs, this conference will solve the myriads of problems faced by MSMEs as a result of capacity deficiency, lack of access to finance and unfriendly business environment in the continent, and will effectively promote international training for SMEs using the state of art facilities at the international convention center at Tinapa.”

Sunday noted that in his attempt to help small businesses access funds, the Governor Ayade had joined the efforts of the World Bank and CBN in the development of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria within the next five years.

Recall that 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 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sub-sector to the economy and the existing huge financing gap.

Highlights of the event will be the launch of a N500bn MSME Impact bond and the constitution of the team that will ensure proper disbursement of it to deserving MSMEs.


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