Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo disclosed on Monday at the Quantum Mechanics Limited MSMEs Survival Fund capacity building programme in Abuja that the Bank of Industry has secured a $1 billion syndicated loan to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
At least 300,000 self-employed artisans will get a N30, 000 loan in the scheme, and 100,000 MSMEs will receive N50, 000.
Mr. Adebayo, in a statement by his media aide, Ifedayo Sayo, said the loan would improve the bank’s capacity to support MSMEs across key sectors of the Nigerian economy.
He added that the loan, 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 an SMEs Ratings Agency of Nigeria (SMERAN) to provide an empirical basis toward analyzing the eligibility of SMEs to access credit.
The minister, who spoke on efforts of the federal government to support MSMEs in the country, also reiterated the ministry’s support to MSMEs development as demonstrated by the MSMEs Survival Fund Initiative, launched in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic by the government as part of its Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan.
“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 Artisan and Transport Grant supports self-employed artisans with a one-off payment of N30,000 targeting 333,000 individuals,” Mr. Adebayo explained.
He stated further, “The General MSMEs Grant will provide 100,000 MSMEs with one-off grants of N50, 000 each, and the Guaranteed Off take 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 added that the fund was estimated to save at least 1.3 million jobs across the country while strengthening beneficiary businesses’ growth potential.