N220bn MSME fund’ll support entrepreneurs –CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria says its N220bn Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Fund will help participating financial institutions to support entrepreneurs.

The Director of Public Finance, CBN, Mr. Paul Eluhaiwe, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said the fund had several components.

 Eluhaiwe said, “The fund has the loan, guarantee, refinancing and grant components. The grant component enables us to provide capacity building for microfinance banks in order to strengthen them.

“The refinancing is where they have given out so many facilities to their clients; it will enable them to come back for refinancing at a particular discounted rate. This will enable them to plough back into the business.”

The director said the guarantee component would enable the MSME operators to obtain more credit facilities outside what the CBN offered, especially from the commercial banks.

“The fund provides them the guarantee to be able to borrow more money from the outreach to their clients,” he added.

Eluhaiwe said the microfinance banks and non-bank microfinance institutions were qualified to access the fund.

He listed the non-bank microfinance institutions as non-governmental organisations that were providing financial services and cooperative societies, among others.

The guideline on the MSMEs stated that the participating financial institutions must satisfy the conditions of the CBN and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation.

It listed the conditions as compliance with the prevailing prudential ratios and average deposit growth rate of 20 per cent per annum for institutions operating for over two years.

It said the participating institutions must be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission; have corporate profile acceptable to the managing agents; and have evidence of risk management framework and sound corporate governance acceptable to the managing agents.

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