The Director, Development Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Yusuf Philip Yila, has said the apex bank had put in place several funding support initiatives to enable Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) survive the COVID-19 and beyond. Yila, who was speaking at the virtual launch of the first PanAfrican MSME Academy at the weekend, described MSMEs as an important sector, hence the CBN and the Bankers’ Committee put in place combined stimulus packages directed at them.
He disclosed that the CBN’s N50 billion Target Credit Facility (TCF) had been increased to N100 billion with the interest rate slashed to 5% from 9% to keep MSMEs in business. He encouraged MSMEs in the country to take advantage of the CBN’s various funding windows to meet the demands of their businesses as government is striving to revamp the economy as soon as possible through their efforts.
Also speaking, Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan, pledged the lender’s support for small businesses operating in the country, stressing that the MSMEs sub sector remains the most affected by the COVID-19 and needs support in the revamping of the nation’s economy.
Akinwuntan maintained that MSMEs were the drivers of post-COVID-19 economic recovery plan for Nigeria, noting that the sub sector should take advantage of technology, financial services, and support from the government to drive the survival and growth of their businesses. Further, he said the MSME Academy, which is an initiative of the African Union Development Agency – AUDA-NEPAD in partnership with the Ecobank Group, provides easy access to practical training and resources on financing opportunities in various countries in Africa, how to build a digital presence for businesses and how to adapt business operations in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic.