As part of its efforts towards economic recovery and sustainable growth, the Bank of Industry (BoI) has concluded a $1billion syndicated term loan in conjunction with international partners to further support small and medium scale enterprises (MSME) in the country.
Minister of industry, trade and investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo said the loan is aimed at “further improving the capacity of the bank to effectively support micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSME) – across key sectors of the Nigerian economy – with affordable loans of medium to long-term tenor, alongside moratorium benefits.”
The minister, who disclosed this on Monday at the Quantum Mechanics Limited MSME Survival Fund Capacity Building Programme in Abuja, also said there is an ongoing discussion with Dunn & Bradstreet to establish an SME risk rating agency – the SME Rating Agency of Nigeria (SMERAN), to provide an empirical basis towards analysing the eligibility of SMEs to access credit.
Adebayo, who spoke on efforts of the federal government at supporting the MSME in the country said, “I will like to reiterate that our ministry fully supports MSMEs, as demonstrated by our MSME Survival Fund Initiative which was launched in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic by the federal government as part of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP); aimed at protecting MSME businesses from the shocks the Pandemic. The Fund comprises the following: The Payroll Support Scheme which aims to support MSMEs in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs by paying up to N50,000 to a maximum of 10 employees in each MSME for three months;
⦁ The Artisan and Transport Grant which supports self-employed artisans with a one-off payment of N30,000 targeting 333,000 individuals;
⦁ The General MSME Grant which will provide 100,000 MSMEs with one-off grants of N50, 000 each; and
⦁ The Guaranteed Offtake Scheme which will engage approximately 100,000 businesses across the country to produce items typically manufactured in their locality, targeting 300,000 beneficiaries.
⦁ Free registration of companies for 250,000 beneficiaries.”
The minister explained that the survival fund was estimated to save at least 1.3 million jobs across the country, while strengthening the growth potential of beneficiary businesses, stressing that the successful implementation of the scheme so far has contributed immensely to quickly pulling Nigeria out of the COVID-19-induced recession
The minister said the National MSMEs Clinics also support the growth of small businesses across the country through the provision of critical infrastructure, with twenty-six of such clinics having impressive results.
He further disclosed that the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has launched the Export Expansion Facility (EEF) under the NESP to support the resilience of new and existing MSMEs to respond to the shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic to retain and create more jobs, especially youth and women businesses through the Youth Export Development Programme (YEDP) and Promoting Women Inclusiveness in Non-Oil Export.
Nigeria Loses N800bn Monthly To Lack Of 24-Hour Port Operation (PROMO)
BY DAVID BAMISE
Rev. Jonathan Nicole, President Shippers Association of Lagos, says Nigeria loses over N800 billion monthly due to lack of 24-hour seaport operation.
Nicole made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday.
NAN reports that in May 2017, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo signed an executive order directing resumption of 24-hour operations at the Apapa Port and prohibiting touting in all seaports.
However, the 24-hour operations have yet to commence in the seaports while agencies sacked from operating at the seaports have returned to participate in physical examination of cargoes.
The managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman, recently accused some federal government agencies operating at the ports of lack of compliance with the directive and executive order.
According to Nicole, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) was generating almost N26 billion daily in the past from seaports.
The figure has dropped because our imports have reduced.
“The port is money-spinning. Payments are daily made to shipping companies, terminal operators, customs, transporters, Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDA’s) in the ports.
“If one is bringing out 1,000 containers, add the customs duty, shipping and terminal charges, transportation and even under-the-table transactions, then you will understand the amount involved. We need to put in place policies that are workable and cannot be thwarted,” he said.
The association president alleged that some unpatriotic Nigerians thwarted laws and policies because they wanted to make money anyhow.
Nicole decried alleged refusal of some government agencies to key into the 24-hour port operation directive, describing it as unfortunate.
On the continued presence of some MDAs in the ports, though they had been told to withdraw, he said it was unfortunate that the MDAs failed to comply with governments’ directive.
According to him, shippers are still present in the ports because they are the owners of cargoes and would be needed by customs in some situations.