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‘SMEs Have Received N56.84bn Survival Fund’

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The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Evelyn Ngige, said on Monday that the ministry had disbursed N56.84bn of the N75m Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Survival Fund to 835,161 beneficiaries.
Ngige, who said the fund was to strengthen the MSME sector, gave the breakdown of disbursement as N8.80bn to 293,336 beneficiaries under the Artisan Support and Transport Scheme; N43.92bn to 459,334 beneficiaries under the Payroll Support Scheme and N4.12bn to 82.491 beneficiaries under the MSME Grant Scheme.
The PS disclosed these in her opening remark during the technical session of the 13th meeting of the National Council on Industry, Trade and Investment.
She said the ministry had also through the Bank of Industry disbursed N15bn to 863 MSME businesses across several sectors.
She said, “As part of government efforts to reduce poverty through the creation of jobs, various strategic wealth creation programmes have been embarked upon by the ministry through the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria.
“These initiatives are all geared towards Mr President’s promise of taking 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within the next 10 years.
“These efforts have also led to the review of the National Policy on MSMEs to encourage the establishment of more small and medium scale enterprises within the length and breadth of the country. This has accelerated the profitable expansion of MSMEs along the chain of development.
“Other key programmes initiated by the ministry to create wealth and grow the economy include the Advancement for Women in Agriculture, Agro Allied and Cottage Enterprises which has successfully developed the agro-processing capacities and capabilities of women.
“At the moment, over 300 women have been trained and provided with processing equipment as grants to enhance their agro-processing engagements.”
Ekiti State Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Muyiwa Olumilua, said the primary focus of the yearly meeting was to proffer policies and solutions in the Industry, Trade and investment sector and to chart a course that would transform the nation’s economy.

By: Lilian Peters

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SMEs

NASME Tasks Entrepreneurs To Use AfCFTA To Grow Businesses

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The Nigerian Small and Medium Enterprises Association (NASME) has called on Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to explore the benefits that the Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) offers to grow their businesses.
NASME National President Dr. Abdulrashid Yerima made the appeal in an interview with The Tide source in Abuja.
It also commissioned entrepreneurs to explore the 18th MSME Summit and Expo positioned to provide a powerful platform to expose MSME operators to opportunities to do business within and outside Nigeria, especially within African countries.
The theme of *the summit scheduled for Thursday and Friday in Abuja is “Positioning MSMEs* for the opportunities of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.”
“While the event would provide an avenue for industry experts to discuss a regulatory framework for full participation in AfCFTA, it would expose MSMEs to various financing windows for development projects.
It would also stimulate an efficient synergy that could drive the growth and development of MSMEs in Nigeria, as well as create marketing opportunities for products made in Nigeria,” Yerima said.
We gathered that no less than 300 MSMEs are expected to exhibit their products and services, among others.

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PH Co-Operative Floats Microfinance Bank, Next Year

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The President of iEBS-Matrixx Co-operative, Amb Larry Goodwill Ajiola, says the group has concluded plans to float a Microfinance Bank in Port Harcourt in 2022.
Ajiola said this during the Co-operative’s last general meeting for the year at L A Kings in Port Harcourt over the weekend.
iEBS President said the Co-operative members would have their passbooks and identity cards, stating that the group would launch into, “real estate ownership, home appliance ownership and transportation business ownership”.
He also noted that other co-operatives are affiliating with iEBS-Matrixx on the federal government loan and other investment which would kick-off next year.
Ajiola reiterated that the group has met all the requirements for the disbursement of some of the loans, which he said maybe accessed before the end of the year.
He expressed worry over what he called impatient and insulting attitude of some members towards federal government loans and grants, adding that most times some leaders frustrate what is expected to benefit the masses.
The secretary of the Co-operative, Mr. Ifeanyi …….. stated the need for the members to be prayerful, adding that the leaders need the grace of God to execute the investment plans.
He noted that most times those at the herm of affairs sits on approvals that have already been given, adding that it takes prayers for such approvals go through.
In his contribution, the chairman of one of the affiliated group, ‘Crested Wealth co-operative’, Mr. Homfrey Ogebek, expressed satisfaction for affiliating with iEBS-Matrixx.
Ogebek noted that his group has generated over 250 members within two weeks for some of the Co-operative programmes, adding that his group has members across the nine states of the South South and South East zones.
Referring to the tension in the members, he said, “it is not easy to lead people. The challenges are much, so there is a great need for members to keep faith alive because iEBS-Matrixx has a huge investment at hand”

By: Lilian Peters

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BoI Honoured For Financial Inclusion Initiatives

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The Bank of Industry (BoI) has been honoured at the just-concluded Sust-ainability, Enterprise and Responsibility Awards also known as the SERAS CSR Awards 2021.
Specifically, BoI won the award for the ‘Best Company in Financial Inclusion’ in recognition of its development impact in providing solutions to ensure that financial services are more accessible to unbanked and under-served groups. The Bank also received the award for ‘Best New Entry.’
Speaking on the awards, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Bank of Industry, Olukayode Pitan, said “We are honoured to be recognised for our continuous efforts and strategic investments aimed at improving financial health and inclusion within Nigeria’s business landscape and economy.
“We remain committed to galvanizing more resources to scale up impact for economic, environmental and social responsibility, in line with our business strategy for sustainable development.
“These awards align with our mission of transforming Nigeria’s industrial sector through sustainable business practices as Africa’s leading Development Finance Institution operating under global best practices.”

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