Thursday, April 18, 2024

Fed Govt. Eyes 14 Days for MSME Loan Disbursement

The Federal Government of Nigeria has said it is considering solutions that will ensure the disbursement of loans to Medium, Small, and Micro Enterprise within 14 days.

It said the intended solution would reduce the mortality rate of businesses that fold up while waiting for loan approvals.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President, Temitola Adekunle-Johnson, disclosed this at the Inaugural Job Creation and MSME Quarterly Communications Forum held on Friday in Abuja.

According to Adekunle-Johnson, the endpoint is to achieve a single-digit loan for MSMEs and ensure a single-digit loan becomes the norm for small enterprises.

He said, “We are trying to achieve a target of being able to guarantee seamless and easy access to funding for SMEs. We want SMEs to be able to apply for a loan and get it approved within 14 days at worst, and not in six months because some of these businesses can fold up within those six months of waiting for loan approval.

“The disbursements will be quick after the loan assessment is processed. That would help us reduce the bottlenecks of MSMEs running from pillar to pole looking for funding and not even having the collateral to achieve the loans.

“The endpoint is to achieve a single-digit loan for MSMEs. We aim to ensure single-digit loan becomes the norm for MSMEs.”

The government has announced a partnership with Access Bank to set aside N50bn to support skills acquisition by 5 million Nigerians under the job creation initiative of the Federal Government called ‘YouThrive’ by Access.

The initiative is looking at empowering MSMEs in different ways by building their capacity, and access to affordable finance as well as digital, technical, and skill acquisition training for them.

Speaking on the initiative, the Head of Non-Financial Services, Access Bank, Chioma Ogwo, said participating small businesses would be empowered in different ways, including building their capacity and giving them access to affordable finance, besides providing them with the digital, technical, and skill acquisition training to thrive and create wealth.

Meanwhile, the Director-General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, Charles Odii, disclosed that 3 million jobs were lost to flooding in Nigeria in 2023.

He however said, the government had developed a technology to alert of an impending danger of flooding across the states, a development he said would help the government to take proactive measures to evict potential victims.

Odii said SMEDAN was helping to mitigate the challenges faced by MSMEs, especially production costs and low rent to enable them to be productive and support the economy.

Senator Ibrahim Hadejia, who is the deputy chief of staff to President Tinubu, MSMEs provide resilience and agility to any economy, added that a country with a robust MSME sector would have a buoyant economy and be able to adapt to some of the current global shocks.

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