Saturday, February 24, 2024

Anambra, Agency okay N1b Loans for SMEs

Anambra State and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) have reached agreement to provide up to N1 billion to support the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the state.

The deal involves a joint contribution of N500 million each by SMEDAN and Anambra State to stimulate SME growth, drive innovation, expansion, and job creation in the state.

The collaboration is an initiative of the new Director General of SMEDAN, Mr. Charles Odii, in partnership with Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Chwukuma Soludo and Commissioner for Industry Hon. Christian Udechukwu. The agreement was signed when Odii visited Anambra State to interface with the state government.

The development highlighted commitment by the new leadership of SMEDAN to ensuring SMEs have access to vital funding across Nigeria.

Following his appointment as Director General last month, Odii has been actively engaging with bank executives and other key players in the financial sector to advocate for affordable credit options for SMEs, including single-digit loans.

Commending the Anambra State government for their commitment, Odii said the level of meaningful support shown by the state was what was expected from state governments nationwide, given the established importance of SMEs in driving economic development and prosperity.

“Small businesses are the backbone of employment and contribute nearly half of our GDP. If we intend to jumpstart the economy, we must invest in them and provide substantial support for their growth,” Odii said.

He assured that SMEDAN, under his leadership, is exploring both domestic and international opportunities to mobilize and channel funds to SMEs across the country.

He emphasizsd that this approach will accelerate the realization of the president’s renewed Hope Agenda, which is centered on economic prosperity.

“We have initiated discussions with several local and international organizations to address funding and capacity development for SMEs. Just this week, we launched the SMEDAN Climate and Green Energy Desk (SCGED) to support climate entrepreneurs addressing environmental challenges hindering SME growth in the nation. We are witnessing strong interest from global stakeholders eager to back local initiatives combating climate change and unlocking fresh economic opportunities,” Odii said.

He stressed that the agency will ensure that the funds, once accessible to SMEs, will be disbursed in a timely, transparent, and equitable manner, eliminating any obstacles preventing deserving SMEs from accessing these vital funds.

He affirmed that SMEDAN is actively engaging with all its financial partners nationwide to assess and enhance the disbursement process, ensuring that funds made available to SMEs through various products and initiatives effectively serve their intended objectives

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