President Goodluck Jonathan will on Tuesday begin the disbursement of the N220 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) development fund to eligible entrepreneurs.
The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, made this known on Monday in Abuja at the 8th annual Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Financing Conference and Entrepreneurship Award.
Emefiele said that the president would perform the ceremony at Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, venue of the two-day conference with “MSME financing in Nigeria: Past, Present and Future” as theme.
He said that the theme was conceptualized to look at MSME finance sub-sector from a holistic perspective.
According to him, since the economy has been driven by growth in the non-oil sector, there is the need to provide affordable and efficient finance services for MSMEs.
“In the last seven years, our economy expanded by seven per cent and in the first quarter of 2014, the real Gross Domestic Product grew by 6.2 per cent, mainly driven by an 8.2 per cent growth in the non oil sector.
“However, sustaining the developmental strides with inclusive growth will depend largely on provision of affordable and efficient financial services for MSME, particularly the micro enterprises which account for about 90 per cent of MSME in Nigeria.
“It is imperative that this segment of the financial system be strengthened in order to forestall the social adverse consequences of financial exclusion,’’ he said
The governor noted that access to finance had a multiplier effect on the economy as it would have the much needed catalytic effect on job creation and poverty reduction.
“It is in realisation of this fact that the central bank launched the N220 billion MSME fund to provide financial resources to entrepreneurs across the country through participating financial institutions.
“I am therefore very pleased that the president has agreed to flag off the disbursement of this fund tomorrow (Tuesday),” he added.
Emefiele said the conference would help to consolidate efforts towards the empowerment of entrepreneurs while formulating policies that would address the challenges of the sub- sector. (NAN)