The Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has disclosed that its matching fund programme for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country would be structured in phases.
Director-General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN, Dr Dikko Umaru Radda , who made this disclosure during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between SMEDAN and the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja, explained that the purpose of the MoU was to support MSMEs to add value to their goods and services.
The DG said, the implementation of the MoU should be `hand-in-glove’ with capacity building for prospective beneficiaries of the loan.
He said the programme primarily targets the improvement of access to affordable business finance for MSMEs especially working capital for expanded production; reduction in interest rates for MSMEs financing, enhancement of enterprise output and competitiveness , improving confidence of financial institutions in lending to MSMEs and finally to promote job and wealth creation.
The Director General also noted that “labour-intensive, micro or small enterprises operating in the real sector with innovative value-added products that are establishing footprint in the Nigerian market and require additional fund to increase output,” are also the targeted beneficiaries.
“Qualified enterprises shall also be those utilizing local raw materials that are regulatory –compliant and capable of generating employment for at least 2-5 additional persons as a result of the loan obtained,” he added, while emphasizing that gender balance to encourage women entrepreneurs has also been recognized.
In his remarks, the acting Managing Director, Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Alwan Hassan, said the Bank appreciates its collaboration with SMEDAN.
According to him, it is a proof that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s led government is dedicating resources of the nation to serve the people and grow the economy.
Hassan said following the signing of the MoU, the Bank’s collaboration with the foremost agency would enhance enterprise output and competitiveness.
In addition also , it would increase government’s earnings by way of taxes, create jobs and wealth , and design sustainable credit approach to improve access to affordable business finance especially working capital for business expansion and startups.
“In our capacity as the nation’ foremost agribusiness finance institution, we will do everything legally possible to ensure that the objectives of this collaboration are realized for our mutual benefit.
“Above all, it is a well-known fact that the survival of the economy depend largely on the success of MSMEs. All over the world, MSMES hold the key to the progress and sustainability of human lives. BoA has been mandated to provide financial services to this very important sector.
“In a bid to execute the mandate, I assure you that the Bank will deploy its existing products both agric and non agric that suites this collaboration and our vast business unit for the benefit of deserving beneficiaries, “ Hassan added.