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FG asks banks to finance MSMEs at low interest rates

The minister for industry, trade and investment said the present administration is strategically repositioning the enterprises to achieve their full potentials.

The federal government has asked banks and other financial institutions to grant accessible financing to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) at single-digit interest rates.

Mariam Katagum, minister for industry, trade and investment, said this in her goodwill message during a virtual Ecobank MSME and financial inclusion summit over the weekend.

Speaking on the theme ‘Unlocking Credit Growth in a Changing MSME Lending Landscape’, Katagum said the present administration is strategically repositioning the enterprises to achieve their full potentials.

“As partners in progress, I charge Ecobank PLC and the financial sector as a whole, to continue to provide the much-needed support for federal government initiatives by facilitating and granting accessible financing for the MSME sub-sector, at single digit. I repeat, at single digit!” she said.

“There is no doubt that micro, small and medium enterprises are regarded as the driving force behind structural changes and sustainable economic growth and development, particularly with respect to their contributions to job and wealth creation.

“These enterprises play a big role in the economy and are crucial drivers of innovation and competition in many sectors of the economy.

“Undoubtedly, the financial sector plays a critical role in the development of these MSMEs, by providing credit facilities for start-ups and for business expansion.

“Under the MSME survival fund and the guaranteed off-take schemes, government earmarked N75 billion for the revival and sustainability of MSMEs which have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“These schemes had, in the last few months, injected a large quantum of funds into the hands of the operators of MSMEs, their businesses and invariably reflated the economy.”

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