Trade minister: FG will support MSMEs with $1bn syndicated loan

The Bank of Industry (BoI) has secured a $1 billion syndicated loan to support micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.

Adeniyi Adebayo, the minister of industry, trade, and investment, was speaking on Monday at the Quantum Mechanics Limited MSMEs Survival Fund capacity building programme in Abuja.

A statement by Ifedayo Sayo, his special assistant on media, quoted the minister as saying the loan would improve the capacity of the bank to effectively support MSMEs across key sectors of the Nigerian economy.

Adebayo said the loan facility, being implemented in conjunction with international partners, had a long-term tenor, alongside moratorium benefits.“There is an ongoing discussion with Dunn and Bradstreet to establish a SMEs Ratings Agency of Nigeria (SMERAN) to provide an empirical basis toward analysing the eligibility of SMEs to access credit,” he explained.

Adebayo said the SMEs Survival Fund Initiative has been launched as part of its Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) to cushion the effect of the pandemic.

“The fund comprises the Payroll Support Scheme which aims at supporting MSMEs in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs by paying up to N50,000 to a maximum of 10 employees for three months,” the minister said.

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“The Artisan and Transport Grant supports self-employed artisans with a one-off payment of N30,000 targeting 333,000 individuals.

“The General MSMEs Grant will provide 100,000 MSMEs with one-off grants of N50,000 each.

“And the Guaranteed Offtake Scheme aims at engaging approximately, 100,000 businesses nationwide to produce items typically manufactured in their locality, targeting 300,000 beneficiaries.

“The scheme supports free registration of companies for 250,000 beneficiaries.”He estimated that the fund will save at least 1.3 million jobs across the country and strengthen the growth potential of beneficiary businesses.

Adebayo stressed that the successful implementation of the scheme contributed immensely to pulling Nigeria quickly out of the COVID-19 induced recession.

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