Nigeria launches a €1 billion microfinance fund

Oct 29, 2012

The Nigerian government has unveiled a 220 billion naira (€1 billion) microfinance fund for micro, small and medium companies - in a bid to strengthen financial inclusion in the country.

The Nigerian government has unveiled a 220 billion naira (€1 billion) microfinance fund for micro, small and medium companies - in a bid to strengthen financial inclusion in the country.

The Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMED) will be live by the end of the year. Approximately 60 percent of its resources will be allocated to projects initiated and managed by women, through long-term loans with an interest rate of no more than ten percent.

According to Sanusi Lamido, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), 46.3 percent of Nigerians are still excluded from the traditional banking system, partly due to their level of income or gender. The fund takes these categories into account, said the Governor, quoted by Ventures Africa.

This fund, which should significantly improve access to credit for SMEs in Nigeria, is part of the CBN's efforts to give 80 percent of the population access to banking services by 2020.

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