Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, yesterday, rolled out a N2 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, Development Fund in Delta State as part of its effort to alleviate poverty in the state.
Speaking at the ceremony in Asaba, the CBN governor, Mr Godwin Emefieli, said that the Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, credit funds were recognised worldwide as a catalyst for poverty alleviation, job creation and all-inclusive economic growth.
Emefieli noted that the fund was introduced by the apex bank to help address challenges facing SMEs in the country, adding: “The fund is meant to help those entrepreneurs with brilliant business ideas but lacking the necessary funds to succeed.”
Enjoining the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the fund, he said: “This is not a free grant but a loan that must be repaid. I encourage you to try as much as possible to cultivate good credit habit because this is the only way you can come back to ask for more.
“When you need a job you can’t find any; you will turn to your natural abilities and use them to create a job for yourself and others. We have structured these funds to ensure that they can be accessed by those who need them the most, rather than those who are simply privileged to occupy important positions in government.”
Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, in his address, appreciated the CBN for the fund, noting that the state government would pay the nine percent interest amounting to about N180 million on behalf of the beneficiaries.
He added that the loan was a brainchild of Emefieli’s leadership at the CBN.