Industrialists have lamented the slow rate of disbursing the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) N220 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Development Fund.
Speaking at the International Women’s Month Seminar held in Abuja, the President of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, said the stringent conditions attached to the disbursement of the intervention fund made it difficult for MSMEs to access it.
He said since he assumed office as the President of ACCI, none of his members has been able to access the fund.
The ACCI boss said the idea of routing development funds through commercial banks to fund SMEs is not working as they are not structured to give out long term intervention funds.
He said the difficulty associated with accessing government intervention fund made the ACCI to establish its cooperative society to aid its members with funds to grow their businesses.
The President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Hajiya Saratu Iya Aliyu, commended the CBN for insisting that 60 percent of the fund must be accessed by female entrepreneurs.
The NACCIMA boss, however, noted that the development fund was not enough for women and the CBN should put in place structured funding for women in business.
She said women remained essential in growing the nation’s economy and they are not known for not defaulting in loans.
Data from the apex bank showed that so far it had disbursed only N83 billion from the fund since it was launched on August 15, 2013 to support the MSMEs sub-sector’s contributions to the economy and reduce its funding shortfall.