Business Management

FG promises to strengthen SMEs, drive financial inclusion

FG begins disbursement of N50,000

President Bola Tinubu has reiterated that his administration will give N50 billion conditional grants to one million nano businesses between now and March 2024, in order to strengthen the Macro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprise (MSMEs) businesses capabilities and capacities in the country, as they are the live wire of the country’s economy.

He said this in his opening remarks at the 2023 Lagos International Trade Fair (LITF) in Lagos, when he declared open the trade fair for the public. President Tinubu, who was represented by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) Lagos, Lucia Shittu, revealed that the fair has always been a beacon of opportunity for Nigerian businesses where their counterparts around the globe converge to forge a vibrant partnership to exchange ideas that can unlock the full potential of the country’s economy.

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“MSMEs are the life wire support of our economy. They are the engines that power up growth and economic development of our economy. It is our responsibility to provide them with the necessary support and resources they need to flourish and grow their businesses immensely and smoothly. We must provide them access to finance, capacity building, energy and funds, to allow them reach new heights of success. One of these initiatives is the Presidential conditional grant on loans designed for the nano businesses in the MSMEs as working capital to boost and revive their trade.”

He went on to stress the importance of technology as a powerful tool that connects and grows businesses. “In today’s globalised world, connectivity is the way through which we forge ahead and make vital connections that help businesses thrive. As we navigate these challenging waters, it is imperative that we stand united relying on our collective strengths to build a prosperous future. Value creation is the cornerstone of sustainable growth. It is not only about profit margins, but about the positive impacts on our communities, nation and the world in general,” he said.

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“We are going to energise this sector with N125 billion. Our target is to give N50, 000 each to 1,300 nano business owners in each of the 774 local governments across the country. Ultimately, this programme will further drive financial inclusion by onboarding beneficiaries into the formal banking system. In like manner, we will fund 100,000 MSMEs and start-ups with N75 billion. Under this scheme, each enterprise promoter will be able to get between N500,000 to N1 million at nine per cent interest per annum and a repayment period of 36 months,” he said.

Speaking on the fair’s theme, ‘Navigating economic challenges: forging a path to prosperity’, president of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and fair organiser, Dr. Michael Olawale-Cole, said local manufacturers find themselves facing substantial challenges while holding immense potential for growth and prosperity.

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He added that this year’s theme reflects their reality and underscores the determination of Nigerian businesses to overcome many hurdles of existence, survival, and growth. He regretted that skyrocketing inflation, unstable exchange rates and consistent dependence on oil revenue continue to hinder local manufacturers.

Guardian

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