The Director, Development Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Yusuf Philip Yila, has said the apex bank had set up a few subsidizing support activities to empower Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) endure the COVID-19 pandemic and past.
Yila, who was talking at the virtual dispatch of the principal Pan-African MSME Academy said MSMEs are a significant division, thus the CBN and the financiers advisory group have set up joined boost bundles coordinated at them.
He expressed that the CBN’s N50 billion Target Credit Facility (TCF) has been expanded to N100 billion with the financing cost sliced to 5% from 9% to keep MSMEs in business.
He supported MSMEs in the nation to exploit the CBN’s different subsidizing windows to satisfy the needs of their organizations as government is endeavoring to patch up the economy as quickly as time permits through their endeavors.
Also speaking, Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan pledged the bank’s support for small businesses operating in the country, stressing that the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sub sector remains the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and needs support in the revamping of the nation’s economy.
Akinwuntan maintained that MSMEs are the drivers of post COVID-19 economic recovery for Nigeria, noting that the sub sector should take advantage of technology, financial services, and support from the government to drive the survival and growth of their businesses.
Further, Akinwuntan said the MSME Academy which is an initiative of the African Union Development Agency – AUDA-NEPAD in partnership with the Ecobank Group provides easy access to practical training and resources on financing opportunities in various countries in Africa, how to build a digital presence for businesses and how to adapt business operations in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his words, “as an MSME friendly bank, we have been helping them with capacity building; providing simple and easy access to loans in various sectors including agriculture, creative industry, healthcare and commerce amongst others; access to markets via our e-commerce solutions and simple but robust digital platforms for collections and payments. We have also provided a channel to enable MSMEs to open various accounts via self-service on our webpage. I encourage all MSMEs in the country to avail themselves of this opportunity to grow their business. ”
He noted that the key objectives of the academy is to radically expand access to finance by aggregating smaller financial institutions such as micro-credit institutions and credit unions that have access to micro-enterprises, standardising their processes, and building trust in their capabilities.
“The MSME Digital Platform is a one-stop-shop for all MSMEs across Africa to access all these three programmes which jointly address MSMEs’ challenges with access to capacity building, markets, and capital”. He explained.
The first Panafrican MSME Academy is open to Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises in Nigeria and across Africa . The programme provide support to African MSMEs and is structured in three pillars, namely: the MSME Academy, MSME Marketplace, and MSME Financing Support Programme to be delivered through an MSME Digital Platform.
The Academy provides easy access to practical training and resources on financing opportunities in various countries in Africa, how to build a digital presence for businesses and how to adapt business operations in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It also offers free access to market intelligence, mentors with a diverse experience and assisting with access to funding opportunities.