The federal government says it is keen on investing in Nigerian businesses
– The government is targeting small and medium enterprises especially those who cannot find the means to access funding
– The government is carrying out the initiative through the National Microfinance bank
As Nigeria celebrates its 59th anniversary, the federal government through the National Microfinance Bank has announced a call to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across Nigeria to access the Agri-Business/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS).
Legit.ng checks reveal that AGSMEIS is an initiative to by the Banker’s Committee and the Central Bank of Nigeria to support the federal government’s efforts and policy measures for the promotion of agricultural businesses and small/medium enterprises (SMEs).
This is geared towards ensuring that SMEs are vehicles for sustainable economic development and employment generation.
Through the AGSMEIS, the National Microfinance Bank offers loans of up to N10million to SMEs who want to build or grow their business and also supports their growth with business training delivered by Entrepreneurship Development Institutes and Centres (EDIs) which also guide and assist SMEs in getting all necessary documents required to secure loans from the scheme.
According to the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, SME operators can access AGSMEIS loans without necessarily providing any collateral.
“The asset that we are financing for them will act as the collateral. That collateral will be registered in our national collateral registry as something that is eligible to serve as collateral or security for a loan that has been taken,” Emefiele said during an event earlier this year.
With Nigerian SMEs battling the effects of an economy just getting out of recession, access to finance remains one of the major impediments for their growth and the effects of this goes a long way to increase Nigeria’s unemployment figures.
With the AGSMEIS, National Microfinance Bank believes it can help SMEs grow their business and offer them much-needed business training to scale their operations and compete with global counterparts.
The AGSMEIS loans are available to SMEs across the information technology, creative, arts, industrial, agricultural, manufacturing and hospitality industries.
Loans amounts can be as much N10million and the annual interest rate is set at a single-digit 5% rate to put more ease on entrepreneurs.
To reach more Nigerians, an additional 718 branches of the National Microfinance Bank will be opened soon nationwide. The bank already operates 56 branches across the country.
Meanwhile, the federal government has taken a bold step in its bid to recover over N5trillion outstanding debts owed to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
To underscore its seriousness, the government has inaugurated an inter-agency committee to speedily resolve the challenges in recovering the debts.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, inaugurated the committee on Monday, September 16 at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, tasking its members to turn the tide in what has been a rather difficult process where debtors have continued to default on their payment obligations.