Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, has revealed that the access to collateral requirements of the N220 billion micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) fund has been reduced to 50 per cent.
The requirement, which was initially 75 per cent, used to be difficult for some commercial banks to access, and as such, it has been reduced by 25 per cent.
Aganga made the disclosure while briefing State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa after the council meeting on Tuesday, February 17.
The Minister said: “That aside from the CBN fund there has to be sustainable funding across the board for micro finance institutions. The council’s focus today was not just on SMEs but was more on the micro businesses at the grassroots. These are the ones that constitute 99 per cent of the total MSMEs sector and those are the ones that require the support of the federal government.”
“We also agreed that all government programmes should be better coordinated, as a result we are looking at all the funds available and we will be making information available to all Nigerians on the funds that are available and the guidelines on how each one of them can be accessed by the average Nigerian. That should be put on the website and made public for Nigerians.
“On the need for women to have access to the fund, the president has already announced that about 60 per cent of that fund be made available to women and the men and women with disabilities have also been prioritised and that is why we have the president of people with disabilities joining us. Micro finance institutions will play a major role.”
The 25 per cent reduction is also inclusive of the interest rate which must not exceed nine per cent.