Anambra State Government has commenced the disbursement of the N2bn Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund.
The state Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, believed that small business owners in the state now have an opportunity to make significant progress.
Obiano said this in Awka on Monday following the inauguration of the Anambra Small Business Agency and the commencement of the disbursement of the N2bn scheme.
The fund is Anambra State’s quota of the N220bn MSME fund domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The governor reasoned that lack of fund had been the bane of small businesses, saying this trend would change with the availability of the MSMEs Development Fund, which could be accessed by serious private enterprise operators.
Obiano said, “I am happy that the scheme has taken off in earnest because we worked hard to ensure that we meet the relevant statutory requirements and set up ASBA to superintend over small business activities.
The Governor described the exercise as a consummation of his efforts since inception of his government, to devise a means of directly engaging the MSMEs sub-sector in the task of growing the state economy, creating employment and wealth opportunities for the people.
He urged the staff and management of ASBA to ensure effective implementation of the scheme, such that all bottlenecks, militating against easy access to such intervention by SMMEs would be removed.
The fund is divided into two with N1bn being the disbursement to micro enterprises and the other to small and medium scale enterprises at an interest rate of nine percent.
Chairman of the Board of ASBA, Mr. Greg Obi, identified stringent loan conditions as the major stumbling block to SMEs’ development in the country.