The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it is committed to initiating programmes and policies aimed at supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.
CBN’s Director, Corporate Communications, Mr Osita Nwanisobi said this on Thursday at the apex bank’s special day at the 17th Abuja International Trade Fair.
Nwanisobi, who was represented by Samuel Okogbue, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications, said the CBN had over the years initiated interventions aimed at boosting the fortunes of SMEs .
According to him, they include the SMEs Credit Guarantee Scheme (SMECGS) and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF).
“There are also the Youth Enterprises Development Programme and the Agribusiness/Small and Medium Enterprises Scheme (AGSMEIS).
“Similarly, the CBN initiated Entrepreneurship Development Centres (EDCs), National Collateral Registry (NCR), the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI), the Targeted Credit Facility (TCF), and the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (NYIF),” he said.
He also listed the Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES) as another of such initiatives.
He continued that the apex bank had also taken steps to create export market, particularly for non-oil commodities.
“The CBN, in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee, in February, initiated the RT200 FX Programme aimed at boosting earnings of stable and sustainable inflows of foreign exchange.
“Our records show that the initiative has started yielding the expected result.
“Importers and exporters have been taking advantage of the incentive of N65 for every one dollar repatriated and sold at the I&E window.
“They also get N35 for every dollar repatriated for own use on eligible transactions,” he said.
The Director said the apex bank had released N66.99 billion to 12 additional projects in manufacturing and agriculture under the Real Sector Support Facility (RSSF).
According to him, the cumulative disbursement under RSSF was N2.10 trillion disbursed to 426 projects across the country.
“Recently, N20.17 billion was disbursed to 14 projects in healthcare, manufacturing and services, bringing the cumulative disbursement under the 100 for 100 Policy on Production and Productivity (PPP) to N93.39 billion to 62 projects,” he said.
Stakeholders Harp On Insurance Penetration Through MSMEs
Stakeholders in the finance sector have urged insurance operators to offer tailored insurance solutions to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to deepen insurance penetration in the country.
A statement by Ms Chiamaka Ajeamo, Communications Manager, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), on Monday in Lagos, said this was part of the submissions of the stakeholders at CIIN’s education seminar held in Benin, Edo State, over the weekend.
The seminar was themed, “Insurance Solutions for MSMEs: Accessing New Opportunities for Penetration.”
In the statement, Mr Edwin Igbiti, President, CIIN, described the MSMEs sector as a major pillar and contributor to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), hence insurers must help players in the sector to embrace more insurance products.
Igbiti quoted the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) as saying MSMEs accounted for 96 per cent of all business activities, contributed 50 per cent of the national GDP, and provided over 48 per cent of all employment opportunities in Nigeria.
“The MSME sector plays strategic roles in poverty alleviation and inclusive growth through innovative and improved productivity; but unfortunately, they are highly vulnerable to risks.
“We recognise that the sector, despite contributing a lot to the socio-economic development of the country, faces numerous hurdles that negatively affect their sustained growth.
“This includes limited access to fund, business training, formal credit, infrastructure deficit, among others,” he said.
He stated that the recent flood menace that affected the nation and MSMEs inclusive, among other mishaps, was an opportunity to enlighten Nigerians on the benefits of insurance.
“I sympathise with all the flood victims across the country and believe that insurance companies will play their expected roles in ameliorating the effect of the losses and damages done promptly,” he said.
Giving the Keynote address, Mr Babatunde Fajemirokun, Managing Director, AIICO Insurance Plc, said MSMEs were the driving force needed to improve the economy and boost insurance penetration.
Fajemirokun noted that the MSMEs market was the missing link in expanding the frontiers of the insurance market.
PHCCIMA Applauds Trade Fair, Exhibition
The President, Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA), Eze Mike Elechi, has expressed satisfaction over the variety of products and services Exhibited at the Trade Fair and Exhibition organised by Shell West Multi-Purpose Co-Operative Limited (COOPWEST).
Elechi, who said this in a chat with newsmen at the venue in Port Harcourt recently, said the organisation was of world class standard.
According to him, the union has lived up to its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in providing for its members.
Elechi said the trade fair has helped COOPWEST members obtain goods not only on credit basis, but also at affordable rates.
He added that there was no need of going to the open market for Christmas shopping, but to make do with what was provided for them at the exhibition.
He stressed that members were sure of the quality of goods and products at their disposal, given the fact that they were showcased at SPDC premisis.
The PHCCIMA President, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Vintage Farms and Products Limited, used the medium to invite the Exhibitors and COOPWEST members to be part of PHCCIMA trade fair in Port Harcourt.
He urged them to utilise the opportunity in showcasing their products and services during the 16th PortHarcourt International trade fair and exhibition scheduled to hold from the 6th to the 20th of December 2022, at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Elekahia, Port Harcourt.
He further appealed to the exhibitors to also make the prices of products affordable same way they gave to their members, assuring them of adequate security throughout the fair.
In her presentation, the General Manager of COOPWEST, Mrs Nnemaka Edwin, explained that their membership was drawn across SPDC operational states in the country.
Edwin stated that the trade fair for its members was an annual event to assist members shop in a serene environment and at good discounted rates.
She continued that their union was responsible in negotiating with vendors, both local and international, to exhibit varieties of products and services including cars, generators of all kinds.
The co-operative also organised real estate agents who assist members to secure good landed properties.
By: King Onunwor
Ministry To Inaugurate PH Revival Multi- Purpose Co-Operative Society
The new Commissioner, Rivers state Ministry of Commerce and industry, Amaopusenibo Ben Daminabo, will this weekend Inaugurate and launch Port Harcourt Revival Multi-purpose Co-operative Society Limited.
The programme, themed, “Promoting Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) through Co-operative”, would also launch the executive officers of the co-operative to man the affairs of the society.
According to information made available to The Tide by the Secretary of the co-operative, Okpo Kalu Okore, the General Manager, African oil services Ltd., Chie Eugene Emereuwaonu Nkwota, would chair the event.
He informed that the Director, University of Port Harcourt Business School, Prof. Emeka Okereke, would give the key note address, adding that the Co-operative would promote the operations of MSMEs in the state.
The Secretary said the society would promote and protect the interest of the members, adding that Commissioner, Rivers State Ministry of Agriculture would also be the special Quest of honour.
The event, which would parade dignitaries from all walks of life, would enrich entrepreneurs to enable them know the modern and new ways of doing business.
The Tide gathered that the co-operative would also collaborate with other MSMEs to achieve success for the betterment of their members.
By: Lilian Peters
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