FG, Access Bank Partner To Empower MSMEs In Nigeria

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Access bank, in support of the job creation initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria called “YouThrive”, has set aside N50 billion to promote skills acquisition by 5 million Nigerians.

The initiative is looking at empowering MSMEs in different ways by building their capacity, access to affordable finance as well as digital, technical and skill acquisition training for them.

Speaking at the inaugural launch, Head, non-financial Services and Emerging Businesses at Access Bank, Chioma Ogwo said: “We are giving them affordable loans at 15 percent and free grants to deserving SMEs who have done very well.

“We have a business exchange programme for the beneficiaries that would enable the SMEs to go and exchange ideas with their counterparts in other countries. We will then learn the best from the best and come back to replicate it in Nigeria.

“We are looking at empowering 4 million in four years – one million yearly. 700,000 would be given access to finance every year, 300, we will train. We’ve earmarked N50 billion for this intervention. We will review it after one year. “

Also speaking at the launch, Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Job Creation and SMEs, Temitola Adekunle-Johnson said: “We are trying to achieve a target of being able to guarantee seamless and easy access to funding for SMEs. We want SMEs to be able to apply for a loan and get it approved within 14 days at worse, and not in six months because some of these businesses can fold up within those six months period of waiting for loan approval.” 

The Deputy Chief of Staff to the president, Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia in his remark said MSMEs provide resilience and agility to any economy.

“This kind of partnership with Access Bank is very important to growing SMEs. It is also important to look at the impact of technology to agriculture as a major contributor to the nation’s GDP growth rate. If we get it right, our yields on some of even our most common crops will improve. We need that to improve our output. It will also encourage the younger generation to participate,” he said.

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