The Bank of Industry (BoI), under the auspices of Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in conjunction with international partners, has concluded a $1 billion syndicated term loan deal to support Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, gave this hint at the Quantum Mechanics Limited MSMEs Survival Fund Capacity Building Programme held in Abuja.
This is even as he said that the Federal Government had opened discussions with Dunn & Bradstreet to establish an SME risk rating agency – the SME Rating Agency of Nigeria (SMERAN), to set empirical basis towards analysing the eligibility of SMEs to access credit.
Adebayo said the loan was aimed at “further improving the capacity of the bank to effectively support Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSME) – across key sectors of the Nigerian economy – with affordable loans of medium to long-term tenor, alongside moratorium benefits.
“I will like to reiterate that our Ministry fully supports MSMEs, as demonstrated by our MSME Survival Fund Initiative which was launched in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic by the Federal Government as part of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP); aimed at protecting MSME businesses from the shocks the Pandemic.
“The Fund comprises the following, the Payroll Support Scheme which aims to support MSMEs in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs by paying up to N50,000 to a maximum of 10 employees in each MSME for three months; the Artisan and Transport Grant which supports self-employed artisans with a one-off payment of N30,000 targeting 333,000 individuals”, the minister added.
Making further clarifications on the loan, Adebayo also said that “the General MSME Grant will provide 100,000 MSMEs with one-off grants of N50,000 each; and the Guaranteed Offtake Scheme will engage approximately 100,000 businesses across the country to produce items typically manufactured in their locality, targeting 300,000 beneficiaries. Free registration of companies for 250,000 beneficiaries.”
He explained that the survival fund was estimated to save at least 1.3 million jobs and also strengthen the growth potential of beneficiary businesses, adding that the successful implementation of the scheme has so far helped the country’s economy to recover from the Covid-19-triggered recession.
Adebayo pointed out that the National MSMEs Clinics had supported the growth of the nation’s small businesses through the provision of critical infrastructure, with 26 of such clinics having impressive results.