The Central Bank of Nigeria has released N1bn Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund to the Niger State government to support small businesses.
Niger Commissioner for Commerce and Investment, Alhaji Mudi Muhammad, who disclosed in Minna on Monday, said the fund was the second tranche from the apex bank led by Godwin Emefiele.
Muhammad explained that the fund was part of the Federal Government’s efforts to create jobs for youths and women as well as alleviate poverty in the country.
He said, “This fund is the effort of the federal government to create job opportunities for women, youths and vulnerable Nigerians.
“The disbursement of the first tranche is still ongoing and the CBN has recorded the state as the most successful, as the fund has been given to the actual beneficiaries.
“The programme is targeted at employing 11,578 people, create 3, 000 jobs and cover over 20,000 indigent youths.”
Also, Alhaji Farouk Audi, Director-General of the state MSMEDF, said the programme was initiated in 2013 by the Federal Government through the CBN which earmarked N220 billion for states to access a maximum of N2 billion.
“The programme is to reach out to nine million Nigerians in five years to create job opportunities. It targets 60 per cent women and 40 per cent youths and the vulnerable in the state.
“The fund is channeled through financial institutions: collected by four commercial banks and disbursed by 14 micro finance banks.
“The loan is for those who are into businesses such as; agriculture value chain, artisans, cottage industries, cooperative societies and start up,” he explained.