The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Anambra State government to bolster the growth of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the state with N1 billion in a matching fund arrangement.
The MOU was signed in Awka, the state capital, on Friday, November 3, by Mr. Charles Odii, the Director General of SMEDAN, and Hon Christain Udechukwu the Honorable commissioner for industry, Anambra State. Under the terms of the agreement, both institutions will each contribute ₦500 million to drive SME growth in the state by propelling innovation, expansion, and job creation.
This development underscores Mr. Charles Odii’s commitment to fulfilling his pledge to ensure SMEs have access to vital funding across Nigeria. Following his appointment as Director General last month, Mr. 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, the Director General of SMEDAN, Charles Odii stated, “This level of meaningful support is what we expect 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.”
Furthermore, DG Odii assured that SMEDAN, under his leadership, is exploring both domestic and international opportunities to mobilize and channel funds to SMEs across the country. He emphasized 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,” Charles Odii explained.
In addition, Charles Odii 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.