FG to improve funding access for MSMEs in Nigeria ― Minister

The Federal government has reassured of its commitment to improving funding access for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria.

Speaking in Abuja at the Commerce and Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CICAN) Annual Conference,
the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb Mariam Katagum said “the Federal Government has over time, created platforms to improve access to finance for MSMEs in order to boost production, increase the value of trade, enhance the investment climate, foster innovation and entrepreneurship.

“This is in addition to the deliberate and pragmatic policies geared towards supporting and sustaining small businesses in the country, thereby equipping entrepreneurs to compete globally, especially under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).”

Katagum further explained that in a bid to guarantee continuity in support of MSMEs in the country, the Federal Government harnessed the prime policies of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and the National Enterprise Development Programme (NEDEP) into the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP), in order to sustainably create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

“These policies are aimed at boosting productivity levels of businesses in the country, thereby accelerating the growth of the domestic market and creating profitable connections to regional, continental and global markets.”

She revealed that at the last Presidential Retreat for members of the Federal Executive Council, Mr President underscored the importance of MSMEs as engine of economic growth and pledged that government would do everything possible to support MSMEs, including removing all bottlenecks to MSME’s access to finance.

The Minister pointed out that President Muhammadu Buhari recently inaugurated the National Council on Monitoring and Evaluation of Executive Order 005 on local content which will, among others, be a game-changer for MSMEs.

Amb Katagum also stated other pro-MSME interventions by the government, such as the recent approval of the revised National Policy on MSMEs, the planned floating of an MSME Micro Finance Bank by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), and the government’s emphasis on single-digit interest credit facility for MSMEs.

“The Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment is expanding its network of collaboration with the State Governments to provide the needed platform for attracting investments.

“In this regard, more States are encouraged and supported to organise investment summits in order to mobilise the investing public to consider Nigeria as a preferred destination,” the Minister stated.

She also said the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, as part of its priority areas has concluded arrangements to facilitate the development of at least one Agro-processing zone in each senatorial district of the Federation.

“In that respect, under the 2021/2022 budget, the Ministry will roll out the development of Agro-Processing in each geopolitical zone under the first phase of the scheme.”

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