SMEDAN advocates use of BVN as collateral to access micro-credits



The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) has called for the use of Bank Verification Number (BVN) as collateral to access micro-credits by the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

Dr Dikko Radda, SMEDAN Director-General, made the call on Thursday in Uyo at the ongoing 11th meeting of the National Council on Industry, Trade and Investment organised by the ministry.

Dikko said that the banking industry could consider the BVN as adequate requirement to provide micro-credits to the MSMEs since it had been embedded with critical details of the owner.

Decrying lack of access to affordable finance by MSMEs, he expressed optimism that as Mpesa revolutionised access to finance in Kenya, BVN could create access to finance for informal entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

“This can change the story line of the sub-sector.

”The Nigerian banks can look at the idea as an option to provide micro-credits to boost the MSMEs and foster economic development,’’ he said.

Presenting a paper entitled, “The Role of Small and Medium Enterprises and Entrepreneurship As Bedrock for the Development of Developing Economies’’ he decried many challenges facing the MSMEs.

He identified lack of access to affordable finance as one of such challenges.

Dikko said the challenges notwithstanding, MSMEs played pivotal role in economic development beyond employment generation to creating opportunities for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

He also noted that MSMMEs had contributed to technological innovation, helped in addressing youth restiveness and insecurity and improved standard of living as well as direct creation of wealth and reduction of poverty.

The Director-General also said that MSMEs’ contribution to the manufacturing sector and Gross Domestic Product was significant in terms of share in total value added.

Citing the 2017 MSMEs survey report, he said noted that there were over 41 million MSMEs in four major sectors in Nigeria (wholesale and retail trade, agriculture, manufacturing and accommodation).

According to the report, some of the MSMEs usually experience closure of business due to lack of funds, economic meltdown, and low patronage and inadequate power supply.

He called for increased pool of fund and patronage to enable MSMEs take advantage of African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and African Continental Free Trade Area agreement export windows.

The MSME boss also called for increased patronage of MSMEs in the procurement process of the federal, state and all local governments, to address the issue of access to markets.

The meeting of the national council, organised by the ministry, was scheduled is expected to hold between Dec. 2 and Dec. 6

It has as a theme : “The Role of Small and Medium Businesses in Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria: The Way Forward.”


Edited & Vetted By: Chidinma Agu/Dada Ahmed


FG set to support 1.7 million businesses, individuals — Minister



Amb. Mariam Katagum, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, has stated the Federal Government’s resolve to provide financial support for 1.7 million business entities and individuals across the country in the next three months.

The minister made this known at the virtual commissioning of the Fashion Cluster Shared Facility for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) tagged:“Eko Fashion Hub” in Lagos on Friday.

According to her, the initiative is borne out of the Federal Government’s continued commitment to help cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy by saving existing jobs and creating new job opportunities.

She said that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, through the Economic Sustainability Committee, had announced specific programmes aimed at cushioning the impact of COVID-19 on MSME businesses.

“The Federal Government is fully committed to empowering Nigerians; more so in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“In this regard, the government, through the Economic Sustainability Committee had announced specific programmes aimed at cushioning the impact of COVID-19 on MSME businesses.

“These programmes include among others, the N75 billion MSME Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take Schemes of which I have the honour to chair the Steering Committee for the effective implementation of the projects.

“The project, which will run for an initial period of three months, is targeting 1.7million entities and individuals and has provisions for 45 per cent female-owned businesses and five per cent for those with special needs.

“The registration portal for the schemes is set to open on Monday 21st September, 2020 and I urge you all to take full advantage of the schemes,” she said.

She said that both schemes were at the core of the N2.3 trillion stimulus package also known as the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) being implemented by the Federal Government.

The minister said that the commissioning of shared facilities was also expected to provide succour and relief for the teeming micro businesses in need of space and infrastructural support.

Katagum expressed appreciation to the Vice-President,  Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for providing a pragmatic and purposeful leadership in establishing a conducive environment that would seamlessly allow MSMEs to grow and prosper.

She congratulated MSMEs across the country and urged the ones in Lagos State to take full advantage of the shared facility as well as the MSME Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take Schemes to improve their businesses.

“This event is a testimony to the continued commitment of the Federal Government of Nigeria to provide a conducive environment for operators in the MSME space.

“The establishment of Shared Common Facilities, is one of the key take-away from the organisation of MSME Clinics across the country.

“It is also imperative to state that the provision of Shared Facilities in support of MSMEs, is being complemented by activities in the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.

“It has been established, and rightly so, that Shared Facilities have been found to be effective tools to minimise the infrastructural challenges that have inhibited MSMEs overtime”.

“It is my belief that this initiative has come at the right time for MSMEs in Lagos State in particular, and Nigeria in general,” she said.

Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong/Grace Yussuf
Source: NAN
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COVID-19 FG will support MSMEs with N75bn loan — DG SMEDAN



The Federal Government will support Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with N75 billion survival fund to cushion the negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses.

Alhaji Dikko Radda, Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), dislosed this during the closing of National Business Skills Development Initiative (NBSDI) in Katsina on Friday.

The SMEDAN boss said that the N75billion survival loan would support 500,000 MSMEs and 333,000 artisans across the country.

He pointed out that the implementation of the N75 billion MSMEs Survival Fund nationwide would help to cushion the negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses.

He explained that NBSDI was designed to provide entrepreneurship skill and  empowerment material (equipment) to bridge the capacity gap of the youth.

According to him, the programme is also aimed at enhancing youth engagement in productive ventures, thereby ensuring that they become independent.

“The initiative is designed to ensure that more professional services will be provided by local and well trained young artisans leading to reduction in job losses to immigrants from neighbouring countries.

“It further seeks to pursue a drastic reduction in poverty as most of the our of youths who still rely on stipends from parents are empowered to become self – reliant,” Radda said.

The DG announced that the National Business Development Initiative was being implemented in seven states of the federation.

There are  Katsina, Rivers, Delta, Ebonyi, Adamawa, Niger, Lagos, Kwara, Bauchi , Zamfara and Ekiti where a total of 1,397 entrepreneurs will benefit from the programme. 


Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Wale Ojetimi
Source: NAN
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LASG plans establishing fashion hubs in Lagos Central, East



The Lagos State Government says it will establish the Eko Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Fashion Hub in Lagos Central and Lagos East in the next nine months.

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu made this known on Friday, during the inauguration of the Eko MSME Fashion Hub in Old Alade Market, Ikeja.

The fashion hub was established in collaboration with the Federal Government and the Organised Private Sector.

Sanwo-Olu said that having the hub replicated in other parts of the state would help to boost MSMEs in the fashion industry.

”Mr Vice President; this is just the first phase of the Shared Facility Scheme. Today, we much charge ourselves and say we have unveiled one in Lagos West; we need to take this same thing to Lagos Central and Lagos East.

”And so Mr Vice President, I am challenging yourself and myself that within the next six to nine months, we need to replicate this in Obalende in Lagos Central and replicate it in Somolu, which will cover Lagos East.

”When we do this, indeed Lagosians would be happier for both yourself and myself.

”We must resiliently ensure that this is replicated in other parts of Lagos State.

“Apart from building and perpetuating the Made in Lagos Brand, we are set to optimally harness the economic growth and opportunities that is inherent in vibrant MSMEs,” the governor said.

He said that in the global setting, there was a dire outlook on the viability of MSMEs, especially in developing countries like Nigeria.

According to him, just some couple of years ago, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) lamented the inability of small businesses to grow in Africa, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.

He said that UNIDO cited example of Nigeria as a country where only 20 per cent of MSMEs survived after a few years.

”I think we are changing that concept today. However, the change is here today under the good leadership of our President, President Muhammadu Buhari.

”I am aware that this facility is the first of many more clusters to come across the country.

”It is a foundational seed, it heralds a new beginning for our MSMEs, our fashion entrepreneurs and those looking to acquire tailoring and fashion designing as a skill,” Sanwo-Olu said.

He said that through this fashion facility, jobs would be provided; tailors and fashion designers would gain more experience, expertise and skills.

The governor said that there would be a steady source of income for everyone who traded there while the growth framework for MSMEs becomes institutionalised at the end of the day.

According to him, the ripple effect will be felt in the nooks and crannies of Lagos West Senatorial District.

”More than ever before, we must be exceedingly intentional about creating greater opportunities for industry to develop and as well as creating the right spirit for our MSMEs to grow.

”I must acknowledge the contribution of the Organised Private Sector, especially Access Bank led by Mr Herbert Wigwe, who partner with both Office of the Vice President and Lagos State at creating this auspicious occasion here today and of course all the other various Federal Government agencies that have collaborated to make this National MSMEs clinics a success.

”The outcome of our collaborative effort reminds me of the words of Simon Mainwaring who said,“…Change is almost impossible without industry-wide collaboration, cooperation and consensus”,” he said.

Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle
Source: NAN
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Osinbajo inaugurates fashion cluster shared facility for MSMEs in Lagos



Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday performed the virtual inauguration of the Fashion Cluster Shared Facility for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs), the Eko Fashion Hub 1, in Lagos State.

Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja.

Osinbajo said that the Federal Government remained deeply committed to creating a more business friendly environment for MSMEs to thrive, as they were the engine room of the Nigerian economy.

According to the Vice President, the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), has in it, a Survival Fund for MSMEs.

He said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of the implementation of the MSMEs Survival Fund as part of the ESP was to cushion the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.

“Under the Survival Fund is a Payroll Support Scheme, which will provide up to N50,000 in monthly salaries for up to 10 staff of a qualifying business, for a period of three months.

“There is also a N50,000 grant for 100,000 small and medium-scale businesses, while 333,000 self-employed persons working as artisans and transporters will benefit from a one-off grant of N30,000.

“The President has also approved that the Federal Government bear the full cost of business name registration for 250,000 new businesses nationwide.

“We are doing all these to support MSMEs across the country to maintain their staffing levels and keep their businesses afloat through these very challenging times.”

The Vice President said the Buhari administration’s commitment to the success of small businesses was evident in its MSMEs Clinics initiative.

Osinbajo said that the clinics extended business support services to small businesses across the country, of which the MSMEs Shared Facility Scheme was a core component.

“The Eko facility, which was developed through collaboration between the Federal Government, the Lagos State Government, and the Organised Private Sector, is an end-to-end fashion production centre equipped with needed machinery and will be made available to the public under a shared facility style structure.

“When MSMEs thrive the economy thrives, when they struggle, the economy struggles.

“MSMEs’ Shared Facility Scheme being implemented by the Federal Government under the National MSMEs Clinics seeks to provide high-quality operating equipment, which small businesses can access at a reasonable cost, within a conducive space,’’ he said.

According to the Vice President, the facilities will help to reduce operating costs for users, allowing them to invest the savings in expanding their businesses and hiring more staff.

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was physically present at the event in Ikeja, commended the President and Vice President for supporting the scheme.

He said that there were plans to replicate the same in other parts of the state.

There are 161 machines at the EKO facility, including 74 industrial straight sewing machines, 10 industrial steam pressing irons, four monogramming machines, eight industrial button-hole and five industrial button tacking machines.

It also has Tinko and Coil machines, heming and industrial weaving machines, among others.

The Facility has a 100kva standby generator and a 2kva solar power system.

The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum, Managing Director, Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe and the Special Assistant to the President on MSMEs, Tola Johnson joined the event.

Others were the CEO, Bank of Industry, Mr Olukayode Pitan, Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), Dr Dikko Umaru Radda, Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Alhaji Garba Abubakar and Managing Director, NEXIM Bank, Abba Bello.

Dr Lola Akande, Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives among other government functionaries also attended the event.

Osinbajo had in June, virtually inaugurated and handed over the 200,000-capacity Yam Storage Facility at the Zaki Biam International Yam Market in Benue State.

He had said there were also plans to establish similar facilities in other parts of the country, including in Kaduna, Anambra and the FCT.

Edited By: Felix Ajide
Source: NAN


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