The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has floated a finance unit as part of efforts to achieve its target of increasing the number of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) currently in operation in the country -which stands at 17.3 million units -and to strengthen the existing ones in terms of financing through provision of short and long term loans.
The finance unit twill interface between the operators of MSMEs in the country and financial institutions with a view to securing short and long term loans for the operators in order to make the sector vibrant and ensure economic buoyancy in the long run.
Speaking exclusively with BusinessDay on Tuesday evening after the inauguration of Ogun State Council of MSMEs in Abeokuta, Bature Umar Masari, the SMEDAN Director-General disclosed that the agency created the finance unit to properly cater for loan security for operators that are in the MSMEs sub-sector of Nigeria economy, saying the Presidency had directed that economic initiatives that will remove financial bottlenecks that plague MSMEs be initiated.
Masari revealed that President Goodluck Jonathan had directed that MSMEs Councils should be located in the 36 States of the federation for proper financing, planning, coordination and monitoring of all existing and new MSMEs, saying President had also ordered substantial MSMEs’ inputs in the country’s exports on a regular basis, which he said was further targeted at wealth creation, employment generation, poverty reduction and economic development.
Speaking earlier, Bimbo Ashiru, the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry declared that the vision of SMEDAN on MSMEs development was in line with the State government efforts on industrialization and having an agriculture-driven economy, adding that the inauguration of MSMEs Council in the state would bring about economic explosion for MSMEs in the state.
Ashiru, who acknowledged the cooperation and support of SMEDAN to the Governor Ibikunle Amosun-led Ogun state government, disclosed that the State government had already given Bank of Industry (BoI)-supported loans to 480 MSMEs operators in the state to boost their businesses, saying: “I am sure members will work assiduously to effect immeasurable growth in the development of existing industries in Ogun state”.