Nigeria: Banks Kick-Start Agric SMEs Equity Fund With N26 Billion

Jun 16, 2017 | Daily Trust; All Africa

Commercial banks in the country have raised a total of N26 billion as part of their commitment to finances agro-based small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs).

This was disclosed by Mrs. Bola Adesola, the Managing Director of Standard Chartered Bank while briefing newsmen at the end of the bankers committee meeting in Lagos yesterday. The contribution follows the directives of the Central Bank of Nigeria to all commercial banks to set aside and remit 5 percent of their annual after-tax profit in support of a scheme as part of the guidelines for the Operations of the Agricultural/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS). The banking regulator said the directive was a follow up to the 331st Bank's Committee meeting, held on February 9th this year, where members approved the program. The AGSMEIS is designed to support the federal government's efforts aimed at promoting agricultural businesses/SMEs as a vehicle for sustainable economic development and employment generation. Mrs Adesola said: "We are working on the framework for the investment that would help to catalyze growth, ease financing, crate jobs and improve prosperity. "However, once our customers meet the eligibility criteria, we will start investing." Speaking on the development around the foriegn exchange market, Dr Demola Sogunle, The Managing Director of Stanbic IBTC said: " We have acknowledged the positive development in the forex market which has seen a gradual convergence between the parallel market and the special foreign exchange window for investors and exporters. Read more on All Africa. Source: All Africa