News Column

N220 Billion Bailout - SMEs Seek List of Financial Institutions, Beneficiaries

August 25, 2014

Some small scale industrialists on Friday urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to release the list of financial institutions and the class of beneficiaries for N220 billion bailout to SMEs.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews in Lagos that many SMEs could not secure previous loans because some designated banks preferred given loan to established firms.

They also urged the CBN to direct development banks like Bank of Industry (BoI) and Bank of Agriculture (BoA) to simplify the requirements for granting the loan.

The Secretary, National Association of Small Scale Enterprises (NASME), Mr Eke Ubiji, who lauded the Federal Government for the gesture, asked it to closely monitor the loan disbursement.

According to him, the N220 billion lifeline to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF) should go to the targeted audience rather than to already established firms.

"This time around, we hope that the SMEs will benefit from the development fund because in the past only big firms benefited from the N200 billion bailout to the sector.

"The effort of the Federal Government is laudable but we want the CBN to release a comprehensive guideline or list of the financial institutions that are eligible to disburse the funds," Ubiji said.

Ubiji said that some of the association members who benefited from the earlier fund encountered herculean task in securing the loan.

He said that although some had repaid the loan, some were yet to meet their obligation due to the various challenges confronting the economy.

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Source: AllAfrica

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