Delta State government said it willÂ payÂ N90 millionÂ to offset theÂ nine per cent interest rate ofÂ the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) N2 billion micro, small and medium enterprises development funds (MSMEDF) to the state . Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan who stated this during the official disbursement of the first tranche of the funds in Asaba, maintained that his administration would continue to develop human creative capacities for economic values.
Uduaghan said, beside the cluster groups, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from the Northern parts of the country and Physically Challenged Persons (PCP) must benefit from the loans. He promised that his administration would shoulder any cost arising from the disbursement of the funds to the benefitting entrepreneurs. â€œLet me assure the CBN that the money will get to those whom it is intended for, and whatever logistics that would be involved, the state government will take responsibility and also pay the nine per cent interest rate so that it will get to the beneficiaries at zero per cent,â€ the Governor assured.
He explained that the first tranche of N500 million would be disbursed to the entrepreneurs while awaiting the balance, even as he hinted that the state has since positioned itself to benefit immensely from the scheme when it was first launched at Abuja.The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, accompanied by his top officials of the central bank at the symbolic presentation of the cheques explained that the loans would attract a single digit interest rate. He said the exercise was part of the federal governmentâ€˜sÂ initiativeÂ of the N220 billionÂ funds to improve MSMEsâ€™ access to finance to boost economicÂ growth in the country.
He explained that the major challenge facing about 17.3 million MSMEs in the country was the cost and lack of access to affordable financing which has a gap of about N9.6 trillion.
â€œLet me emphasize thatÂ weÂ have structured this fund to ensureÂ thatÂ they canÂ be accessed by thoseÂ who needÂ them theÂ most , rather that thoseÂ whoÂ are simply privilegedÂ to occupy important positionsÂ in governmentâ€, Emefiele said.
He further pointed out that â€œstate governments are eligibleÂ to accessÂ up to N2 millionÂ each for on-lendingÂ to successfulÂ beneficiaries through participatingÂ institutions in their states,â€ adding that â€œmicro enterpriseÂ can access a maximumÂ of N500,000Â for a one-year tenor, while SMEsÂ canÂ accessÂ a maximumÂ of N5millionÂ for up to five years