The National Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI), has disclosed plans to tackle access to funding, through the establishment of Micro Finance banks in all 774 local government areas of the country.
The association’s National President, Chief Chuku Wachuku, said in the next couple of weeks, NASSI would be seeking investors to help float its own micro-finance banks.
He said the MFB would grant loans to NASSI members at a friendly interest rate instead of the prevailing rate of between 25 and 30 per cent interest rate. “How do you expect a deposit money bank with share-holders funds to give you interest of nine per cent, for instance, instead of their prevailing interest rate of 25 to 30 per cent?” he asked.
While describing the N220 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) fund put in place by the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) as a serious and commendable intervention, he expressed regrets that the problem with the fund, like similar funds in the past targeted at the sub-sector, is difficulty in accessing them.
“That (N220b MSMEs fund) is a serious intervention. But the problem with funds like that, and over the years we have had so many funds like that in place, is that you cannot access them. So they remain a mirage. And this N220 billion has continued to be a mirage. That means you can’t touch it,” he said.
He said a memo that came up at the first meeting of the National Council on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises chaired by Vice President Namadi Sambo was access to finance, and that the Vice President realised there and then that a big chunk of the problem small scale industrialists are having is how to access finance.
“The CBN guideline as published makes it impossible for anybody to access that fund. That is what happened to all kinds of funds that is domiciled with the CBN and other government agencies. Nobody can access them,” he lamented.
SOURCE: Daily Times (Nigeria)
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