CBN begins disbursement of N220b MSME cash
President Goodluck Jonathan will today launch the disbursement of the N220 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF) initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), last year.
Speaking during the 8th MSME Conference and Entrepreneurial Awards, which commenced yesterday in Abuja, the Governor of the CBN Godwin Emefiele, said the the CBN has instituted an ‘Entrepreneurship Clinic’ where aspiring young entrepreneurs will be trained and mentored and provided with required tool-kits to start and grow their businesses.
To this end, Emefiele said that 60 enterprising graduates have been specifically invited to the programme to be trained and mentored on how to identify business opportunities and source finance.
He explained that “the young entrepreneurs participating at the session will be monitored with respect to the progress and achievements recorded before the next Conference.”
He said Nigeria has achieved remarkable economic growth and development in recent years as a result of the resilience of our people, the innovativeness of our enterprises and the programmes of our governments at all levels.
He said in the last seven years, the Nigerian economy expanded by an average of seven per cent, while sub-Sahara Africa’s real Gross Domestic Product’s growth averaged 5.2 per cent, adding that in the first quarter of 2014, Nigeria’s real GDP grew by 6.2 per cent, mainly driven by an 8.2 per cent growth in the non-oil sector.
He however said that sustaining this development, and economic growth, will depend largely on the provision of affordable and efficient financial services to the MSMEs, particularly the micro entrepreneurs who account for more than 90 percent of the MSMEs in Nigeria.
“It is imperative that this segment of the financial system be strengthened in order to forestall the inevitable adverse socio-economic consequences of financial exclusion,” he stated, adding access to finance “has a significant multiplier effect on the economy because of its catalytic effect on job creation and poverty reduction.
Emefiele, said it is in realisation of this fact that the CBN launched the N220 billion MSME Development Fund to provide financial resources to the entrepreneurs across the country through Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs).
With the official flag off today, it is expected that full disbursement of the fund, launched last October would take off in earnest and many states have expressed interest in accessing the fund for their peculiar MSMEs.
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