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FG targets $500 AfDB loan to boost technological innovation

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The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Richard Adebayo, said on Monday the Federal Government has initiated moves to secure a $500 million African Development Bank (AfDB) loan to fund technological innovation.

Adebayo stated this in his opening address at the 11th meeting of the National Council on Industry, Trade and Investment in Uyo, Akwa Ibom.

He said the federal government would also work towards the realisation of one agro-processing zone in each senatorial district to encourage farmers in the country.

The minister expressed the government’s readiness to ensure credit access to 10 million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) at a single-digit rate and fully activate the six special zones for the private sector in Lekki, Enyimba, Funtua, Ibom, Kano and Benue.

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Adebayo said the policies were meant to boost federal government’s plan to put 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.

The minister said: “The National Enterprises Development Programme being implemented is generating 1,000,000 jobs annually.

“The programme is a strategic way of delivering enterprise development in the country to directly address the critical factors that had inhibited the growth of the MSME sector.

“It is of interest to intimate the Council that tremendous progress has been recorded in the areas of improved registration of enterprises, increased access of MSMEs to grants, improved capacity of MSMEs and job creation opportunities amongst others.

“There are over 100,000 MSMEs registered under the Business Innovative and Growth (BIG) platform, which is the only channel through which MSMEs can access the project intervention programme.” (NAN)



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