Nigeria's central bank urges MSMEs to take advantage of N220bn fund
It said it is committed to bridging the financing gap affecting smaller businesses.The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has called on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to take advantage of a N220 billion (€990 million) fund to source credit.
It said it is committed to bridging the N9.6 trillion financing gap affecting smaller businesses, adding that 60 per cent of the fund had been earmarked for providing credit to women-owned businesses.
The institution's director of corporate communication, Alhaji Ibrahim Mu'azu, said at a conference in Lagos that poor access to credit remains one of the biggest limitations faced by small businesses and has to be tackled collectively by stakeholders in the financial services sector, This Day reports.
"The broad objective of the N220 billion MSMEs fund is to channel low interest fund through participating institutions like banks, microfinance banks and state governments to small businesses that need it to create jobs," he said.
However, the president
of the Association of Small Business Owners (ASBON), Femi Egbesola, argued that the criteria for accessing the fund was "cumbersome" and largely beyond the reach of small business owners.
He therefore urged the CBN and commercial banks to rethink their SME funding strategy.