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MSMEs register assets worth N400bn under collateral registry in 5 years — CBN



The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said more than N400 billion worth of assets had so far been registered under the collateral registry by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in five years.

Emefiele said this while reeling out the policy road map for his second tenure of five years in Abuja on Monday.

He explained that the National Collateral Registry was set up by the CBN, which supported the passage of legislation governing activities of the Registry and the Credit Bureaus.

According to him, these measures have helped to encourage the flow of credit to SMEs by allowing them to provide movable assets as collateral in order to obtain funds from banks, compared to the previous process which requires that they provide fixed assets.

He said the activities of the credit bureaus had also helped to reduce the risk encountered by banks in lending to businesses, as it helped to identify credit worthy borrowers.

“We also sought to improve access to credit for MSMEs given the critical role they play in supporting the growth of our economy.

“Poor access to credit has been highlighted as a significant constraint to the growth of MSMEs.

“Moreover, given the impact of the recession, it was more important to restart the flow of credit to MSMEs to enable them engage in productive activities that would support growth.

“As part of efforts to support this objective, we created a N220 billion MSMEs funds, which has been critical in supporting the growth of MSMEs in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.’’

Emefiele said that these two initiatives contributed to improving Nigeria’s Doing Business Scorecard in the World Bank’s 2017 Doing Business Rankings of 180 countries.

According to him, Nigeria moved up by 24 points from 169 to 144.

On Payment System programme, the CBN governor disclosed that more than 40 per cent of eligible Nigerians in 2015 lacked access to financial services but the bank had embarked on a couple of steps to improve access to finance.

He said the CBN achieved that through initiatives such as the Shared Agent Network Facility (SANEF) and the inauguration of the bank’s policy on Payment Service Banks, which enabled non-Banks to provide limited financial services.

“We sought to encourage the use of technological tools in improving access to finance for people who live in under-served parts of the country.

“We also set up a payment services management department solely dedicated to enabling the build-up of a robust payment systems infrastructure, while seeking to contain the risk to the financial system that could emerge from the use of digital channels.’’

He said as a result of CBN’s efforts, the total volume of retail electronic payments had witnessed a threefold increase over the last five years.

According to him, the new financial access points are being created in parts of the North East and North West due to measures deployed by CBN to extend financial services to the under served people in rural communities.


Tech entrepreneur urges MSMEs to sell people’s needs to stay in business



A tech entrepreneur, Mrs Vivian Chigozie-Nmonwu, on Tuesday advised Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), to henceforth build their businesses around people’s needs rather than wants.

Chigozie-Nmonwu of VI-M professional solutions gave the advice on a webinar while discussing the topic “COVID-19 and Entrepreneur: “How to navigate the impact of COVID-19 on our businesses, particularly MSME”.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that the meeting was organised by ACCION Microfinance Bank in Lagos.

She said that MSMEs were the worst hit during the economic lockdown because of their poor structure which hindered their sales.

“Therefore, to navigate, MSMEs need to sell what will keep them in business in the future, no matter what disruption or recession that will come.

“Over the last few months, there is a clear definition between essential and non essential commodity.

“So, this means that for us to do better and for our businesses to grow better, you will need do build the business around what people need and not what they want.

“There is a different between customer needs and wants.

“So, part of the lessons learnt and part of the things we can do is to build our businesses around the needs,” she said.

She urged entrepreneurs to also monitor and watch the economy to be able to know and follow trends presented by the pandemic and see how to use their business structure to solve them.

The tax and financial consultant also urged business owners to be agile and flexible in their strategy so that if in the future anything happens again they will be sure to still stay in business.

She said that for them to survive, they needed to have reliable networks and stronger collaboration to be able to navigate through post COVID-19.

According to her, you must check the value of network to know what they are bringing to the table.

Chigozie-Nmonwu advised those selling on the streets in particular to find a way to automate their businesses so that even in their physical absence the business could still go on.

She urged them to come up with a business plan that showed milestone for the business among others.

Edited By: Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Buhari to address small businesses at 2020 MSMEs awards, entries open



In a bid to encourage small businesses in Nigeria amid the COVID-19 pandemic, President Muhammadu Buhari will  address Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

The address which would  form part of the 2020 MSMEs award would  hold  July 16,  Mr Tola Johnson, Special Assistant to the President on MSMEs, Office of the Vice President.

Johnson who addressed a virtual news conference in Abuja on Friday, said that in spite of the ravaging pandemic and its effects on MEMSe, the awards were still going on.

He, however, said that the award was only going to hold virtually, adding that the portal for registration would be open on June 1 and remain open for 30 days.

“The portal for this year’s edition of the award will be open on the 1st of June and it will be open for 30 days.

“Once the portal is open, SMEs across the country can go and nominate themselves in whatever category of their choice.

The award this year would be held on July 16, it would be a unique one because it would be virtual.

“All award recipients and other participants and guests will join the event via video conference from different locations across the country.

“This is in line with the established protocols for COVID-19 containment by the Federal Government through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

According to Johnson,  Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will  be coordinating the virtual awards.

“One unique thing we will be seeing this year is that President Muhammadu Buhari will be delivering a speech targeted at encouraging MSMEs across the nation.

“Interested and qualified MEMEs are to visit,” he said.

Johnson added that the attendant car, cash and other prices would also be given during the awards regardless of the fact that it would be virtual.

He said that all prizes would be sent to respective award recipients in their respective locations.

He added that the federal government would also inaugurate a 200,000 capacity Yam Storage facility for MSMEs in Zaki Biam, Benue, as part of measures to support MSMEs in the state.

He said that the yam storage facility was part of the government scheme to establish shared facility to support MSMEs.

The MSMEs Shared Facility Scheme of the federal government is one of the innovations from the National MSMEs Clinics.

“The vision is to provide necessary infrastructure and support facilities in production clusters across the country.

“So far, the federal government has completed two pilot schemes of the Shared Facility project in Oyo and Bauchi,” he said.

According to him, the categories for the awards include: MSME Award of Excellence in Agriculture; MSME Award of Excellence in Beauty, Wellness and cosmetics; MSME Award of Excellence in Fashion & style and MSME Award of Excellence in Creative Art.

Other categories were; MSME Award of Excellence in Leather works; MSME Award of Excellence in Manufacturing; MSME Award of Excellence in Technology Innovation and MSME Award of Excellence in Furniture & Woodwork.

Mr Johnson further disclosed that the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), which is a partner in the awards, would be getting the information to all SMEs across the nation.

According to him and other members of the team, SMEDAN will be reaching out to micro enterprises that may not have access to the online portal and assist them with their submissions.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Donald Ugwu (NAN)


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LASG grants three-month moratorium to MSMEs



The Lagos State Government has approved a three-month moratorium to operators of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) who borrowed from the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF).

The Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs Lola Akande, made this known on Thursday, during the Year 2020 Ministerial Press Briefing, to commemorate one year of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration.

Akande said that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu granted the moratorium as part of concessions to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on the MSMEs.

”The moratorium will serve as a palliative, encourage entrepreneurship and sustain the confidence of small scale industrialists and MSME operators in the state,” she said.

Akande urged all Captains of Industry across the state to continue supporting the state government, in order to fully deliver the gains of democracy to the people.

She said that the ministry would continue to render its support to members of all business organisations, toward boosting their businesses.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)



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National Policy on MSMEs: SMEDAN Governing Board Chair tasks MSMEs operators to register to benefit



Chief Femi Pedro, the Chairman Governing Board of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), has urged Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in all categories to register on the SMEDAN website to benefit from the existing national policy for MSMEs.

Pedro stated this on Wednesday in Ibadan during a virtual validation of the National Policy on MSMEs.

He commended the director- general of agency and other management staff for putting the event together.

Pedro, however, said “SMEDAN has a registration system which is online and made available free of charge for all MSMEs in all categories.

“I enjoined people to go online to register on and you will see a form there to fill as an MSMEs; it takes just less than five minutes to complete it.

SMEDAN will give you a unique identification number and in the form questions are asked whether you are registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) or not.

“If you are not yet registered with CAC, SMEDAN will assist you in registering your business at a very cheap rate.

“The information made available will help us and the Federal Government to be able to marshal and implement the existing national policy on MSMEs.

“We want all the over 40 million MSMEs in Nigeria to  be registered with SMEDAN, it makes SMEDAN work a lot easier  and implementation will be easier.

“Also it will help us to achieve our objectives.”

He assured the stakeholders that the Governing Board of SMEDAN will take the implementation of the national policy very seriously.

“When we all get together four years from now, we will have lots of exciting things to say about how the policy has been implemented,” he said.

In his remarks, Dr Samuel Adebiyi, the consultant who spoke on the new policy said “the point of integrating MSMEs to the public procurement system is also clearly provided in the new policy in fact with more bite now.

“Because it has always been in the policy; it was in the first policy and second version which was a revised version of the first and up till now, we have not seen the effect which is bringing us to a point raised that implementation is key.

“So, the issue of public procurement of MSMEs products and services by Federal Government and state governments require further action.

“In this revised policy it is also identified in the implementation metrics that there is a timeline, there is an activity to be undertaken, there are stakeholders assigned to do it and there is a system to measure that it has been done.

“Let’s just hope that as the new policy is being implemented we will find a better story to tell about the MSMEs activities in Nigeria.”

Also, Mr Wole Fasanya, Director Policy, Planning and Monitoring Evaluation SMEDAN,  appreciated those who had sent their contributions on the new policy being formulated.

He assured them that the various contributions will be looked at to enrich the document that will be passed through the minister to the Federal Executive Council for approval.

Fasanya noted “in the meantime, we will note most state committees that are moribund.

“We will find a way to get them reactivated.

“We will also get the number of states that have not stated their own committees and find a way to nudge them to form their committee.

“As noted it is not governors that chair the committee in most states it is either the deputy governor or the commissioner.

“This time around, we are going to do it through Public Private Partnerships as we said.

“It is going to involve more private sector players so that it will be more efficient and effective.

“Also, with the turnout now, we will as time goes on, interact more with a number of stakeholders, especially those listed in the implementation mandate.

“We are not going to wait until the policy is being implemented before we engage them more.”

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the virtual validation of the National Policy on MSMEs was attended by stakeholders across the country.

Edited By: Kayode Olaitan (NAN)


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COVID-19 fallout: Osinbajo highlights FG’s palliative for MSMEs



Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, says the Federal Government has setup palliatives to assist Micro Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs) survive the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The vice president said that the palliatives reflected the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s determination to support MSMEs and the priority the Federal Government placed on small businesses.

Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement, said the vice president performed the virtual launch of palliatives for MSMEs by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Friday in Abuja.

Osinbajo listed the Federal Government’s palliatives as, “E-Registration of MSMEs/products at 80 percent discounted rate over a period of six months.

“Zero tariff for the first 200 micro and small businesses to register on the E-platform.

“Waiver on administrative charges for overdue late renewal of expired licenses of micro/small businesses products for a period of 90 days.’’

According to the vice president, businesses across the world confront the disruptions caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

He said that the Federal Government would continue to adopt and implement practical measures to ensure that the projected growth in the MSMEs sector was not seriously affected by the development.

“Of importance to the government’s response was to find ways of not just giving succour and assistance to existing MSMEs but also ensuring that there is practical and active fillip to new MSMEs.

”So that the growth of this sector is not discouraged by the current economic trauma.

“This is our moment and the government of Nigeria and its regulatory agencies are prepared to back MSMEs and other businesses that are prepared for the innovative and interesting times that lie ahead of us.”

Osinbajo also spoke on some of the steps taken by the Federal Government to protect private investments especially small businesses in the country.

He said that President Buhari had, from the onset of the health cum economic crisis, taken strategic decisions aimed at insulating businesses from imminent collapse.

“Just after the first index case of the disease was discovered in Nigeria and before the lockdowns began, the President put together strategic teams to immediately determine the impact of the disruptions likely to be caused to the economy.

”What our immediate and medium to long term approach should be. The vulnerability of MSMEs to the severe shocks that were to follow was priority at every consideration of the issues.

“ But perhaps even our best projections could hardly have predicted the massive economic disruptions, the unprecedented number of business failures, job losses of what began as a health challenge and the ensuing lockdowns would cause especially to MSMEs, who, of course as you know, are the backbone of our entire economy.

“As the president has repeatedly urged, we have no excuse not to be one of the most productive and prolific economies in the world; our hope is to achieve this aim in the incredible numbers of MSMEs that we have.”

According to the vice president, the launch of NAFDAC palliatives for MSMEs is a thoughtful and strategic response to the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Osinbajo said that the e-registration assistance for MSMEs through the Automated Product Administration and Monitoring System (NAPAMS) was timely.

“These are all indicators of the new spirit of NAFDAC and foretaste of the support MSMEs stand to enjoy in wading through these trying times.  But this is not a new undertaking for us.

“It is merely an extension or intensification of the Federal Government’s long-standing commitment to MSMEs.”

“We expect to see from them in terms of innovation, adaptability in the next few months and through the challenges that we will be seeing in business environment.”

“I am sure that NAFDAC, SMEDAN, BOI and all of our MDAs concerned with the MSMEs see this period as one when we must work with the MSMEs, identify with them, and must be quick on the job to ensure we are able to resolve all of the problems that they have,” he said.

Prof. Moji Adeyeye, the Director General of NAFDAC, alongside representatives of federal regulatory agencies in the MSMEs sector also participated in the virtual event.

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Ifeyinwa Omowole (NAN)

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Take advantage of FG’s initiatives, SMEDAN urges MSMEs in Oyo



The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has advised operators of Micro,Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Oyo State to take advantage of various Federal Government’s initiatives to boost their businesses.

The Manager of SMEDAN in Oyo State, Mrs Iyabo Ojogbede, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Ibadan.

She said apart from the COVID-19 intervention fund made available by government, there were other programmes initiated by SMEDAN to assist business owners.

“Presently, we have a programme in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Learning (NIRSAL) which is a loan that we are helping MSMEs to access.

“There are also other  programmes in SMEDAN that Nigerians can benefit from.

” There is one that has been available for a while now which is called One Local Government One Product (OLOP).

“On this, we have sent a message to all the cooperatives in the state that they should apply for this programme targeted at those in agribusiness or agro processing.

“Also, more programmes are underway for MSMEs to expand their businesses and improve the nation’s economy.

” Currently, we are planning for them to access a grant.

“We regularly invite MSMEs to log in to our website to register or walk into our office to do the registration for free so that we can have their data with us and  when the programme starts, we will have all their details to invite them to partake in the grant.

“We have received a lot of proposals from MSMEs and we pick one cooperative group per senatorial district because we want everyone in the 33 Local Government Areas in Oyo  to benefit from it.

“It is a yearly programme from SMEDAN to enhance diversification into the non-oil sector, particularly agribusiness and processing,” she said.

Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)


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COVID-19: MSMEs stakeholders seek easy access to palliatives



Stakeholders in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have called for better accessibility to palliatives by the Federal Government to sustain the sector during and after the coronavirus pandemic.

They spoke made the call in separate interviews with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos on Tuesday.

The stakeholders were responding to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed’s briefing on Monday on fiscal stimulus measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Solomon Aderoju, President, Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) lauded the various efforts of government in the sector and suggested speedy implementation and accessibility to the various intervention measures to ensure sustainability.

Aderoju also called for more liberal loan terms and conditions, waivers on loan interests and tax payments, elongated loan payment duration during the pandemic to cushion the effects of losses.

“Government has started well by some protective measures with issue of moratorium and relief on interest payment.

“Some of which were on ground before the pandemic but we have not been able to access them due to the unfriendly conditions.

“They may mean well but the parastatals and agencies involved in the disbursement should also do their part by ensuring that these funds get to the business concerns as targeted by the government,” he said.

The NASME boss stressed the importance of the creation of market opportunities after the lockdown by government.

Dr Muda Yusuf, Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) called for more stimulus in the areas of tax and import duty reliefs for investors across the sectors.

According to him, a cocktail of policy measures to cope with the current challenges is pertinent.

“The government has rolled out a number of palliatives for small businesses, especially around credit.

“There are promises of moratorium, restructuring of existing facilities, reduction in interest rates, among others are welcome developments.

“This situation calls for serious introspection on the management of public finances, cost of governance, revenue optimisation from revenue generating agencies, forex policies etc.

“We would also like to see demand side stimulus to create a market to drive production.

“There is need for some more stimulus in the area of tax and import duty reliefs for investors across the sectors,” Yusuf said.

Dr Femi Egbesola, National President, Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria (ASBON) spoke on the various intervention funds by the government.

Egbesola urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to quicken the process to enable business owners easy access to the funds.

He noted that the best time to release the funds was now particularly to critical sectors as food processing companies, agric sector and its value chain, health sector, pharmaceuticals and basic needs to survive the pandemic as a nation.

“The reality is that global and local economies are crashing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Palliatives are being promised by both Local, State and Federal Governments both to households and businesses but the honest truth is that nothing meaningful has been seen or received so far.

“The news is in the air; guidelines for application have been released; quite a number of Nigeria business owners have applied but we are yet to see anybody moving beyond the stage of application at the moment.

“We look forward to getting to the point of some businesses getting the fund as promised,” he said.

According to him, to make workable policies particularly for business owners, government must engage the stakeholders and ensure that such policies are modelled to accommodate local needs.

“They should also be accessible to those at the bottom of the pyramid.

“Most often than not, our policies are modelled in copy of the western world and are not applicable to our local work environment,” the ASBON boss said.


Edited By: Nick Nicholas/Adeleye Ajayi

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SMEDAN wants synergy for MSMEs sustainability 



breakfast meeting.

The News Agency  of Nigeria reports that the meeting had as its theme: “Sustainable Entrepreneurship – a Win-Win Strategy for the Future”.

“Sustainable entrepreneurship is key to opening the country to global competitiveness aimed at elevating the nation’s placement among the  most economically advanced nations in the world.

“Rather than MDAs competing and working at cross-purpose, there is the more demanding need for all activities that border on MSME devt to be properly coordinated, monitored and measured for impact.

“The sector therefore needs all the support it can muster from all stakeholders in order to survive in this era of open markets, competition and global economic crisis” Radda said.

He also said that there should be deepening of reach of MSME-friendly funds such AGSMEEIS, especially for start-ups.

According to him, more funds should be pumped into infrastructure development through Public Private Partnership and provision of workspaces and common facility centres in major clusters be provided.

Radda listed other areas of assistance required by MSMEs to include adequate power and water supply, reduced tax rate, funding, security, and transportation.

He called for enhanced capacity of MSMEs to take advantage of export windows such as African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and Africa Free Trade, amongst others.

Radda advocated the establishment of a dedicated MSME Bank and called for increased patronage in the procurement process of the federal, state and local governments, to address the issue of access to markets.

The DG said that the MSME sub-sector in Nigeria had vast potential, in spite of some challenges.

He said that government’s deliberate action at creating enabling environment through Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) was laudable.

Radda said that the stable democratic environment and the resilience of MSME operators was also worthy of note.

He reiterated the agency’s continued strategic support for sustainable entrepreneurship, saying, it was the only guaranteed strategy for economic development.

In his address of welcome, Mr Toyin Akomolafe, National President, NACC, said the choice of theme of the event was apt due to the current economy situation in the country.

He said the economy was affected by the fall in crude oil price globally, rising inflation, and the current global health challenges.

Akomolafe said that a win-win strategy was one that ensured the satisfaction of all parties in entrepreneurship by perceiving new business openings, new items, new techniques for creation, among others.

“Sustainable entrepreneurship is able to create employment, enhance products, processes, establish incipient companies and changes people’s lives.

“Most importantly, it should be noted that entrepreneurship for sustainable development is supposed to result in more than economic prosperity,” he said.

Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle

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French coy, FCMB partner to grow MSMEs in Nigeria




Proparco and First City Monument Bank (FCMB) have signed a N2 billion risk-sharing facility agreement to promote the growth of Micro, Small, and Medium-Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria.

According to statement by Claude Abily, Political Counsellor of the French Embassy in Nigeria, MSMEs represent 96 per cent of all businesses in Nigeria and attest to their strategic role in the development of the Nigerian economy.

“The agreement covers up to N2 billion worth of loans granted by FCMB to MSMEs, representing 96 per cent of all businesses in Nigeria and testifying to their critical role for the economy.

“However, most SMEs still lack access to appropriate sources of financing needed to develop their activity.

“FCMB was created in 1982 and currently ranks among Nigeria’s top ten banks and has its growth strategy of supporting SMEs through tailored products and services to entrepreneurs.

“Proparco’s support will help FCMB extend its financing to a greater number of SMEs in Nigeria.

“It is estimated that this risk-sharing facility agreement could support close to 245 MSMEs in the country and contribute to creating or maintaining more than 440 jobs,” Abily said.

According to Abily, the agreement between Proparco and FCMB is the second since 2012, when it granted a loan of 25 million dollars to the Nigerian bank, to support lending activity to the infrastructure sector.

“This project contributes to the French initiative `Choose Africa’, which was launched by AFD Group in 2019, with ambitions to dedicate €2.5 billion and accelerate growth of MSMEs in Africa by 2022,” he said.

The political counsellor said that Proparco, a subsidiary of Agence Française de Développement (AFD), was into projects development with focus on renewable energies, agribusiness, financial institutions, healthcare, and education with a view to strengthening the contribution of the private sector to achieving the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Toward that end also, Proparco is  focused on funding and provision of support to both businesses and financial institutions in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle-East.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim

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