The Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Dr. Umaru Radda, has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to increase the amount earmarked as the COVID-19 intervention fund for MSMEs and households to enable the affected entities cope with and recover from the negative impact of the pandemic on their operations.
Radda made the appeal on Monday while speaking on plans for the MSMEs Day, which is celebrated globally on the 27th of June every year.
In his words: “I want to call on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to think of increasing this COVID-19 loan facility from N50 billion because in a short time, the MSMEs will exhaust this N50 billion. “We need additional money for the MSMEs because we are still under the lockdown and the COVID- 19 pandemic in the country.
“Interstate movement is still restricted and the flight and train are not operational. “So, we still need more assistance because we don’t know when this pandemic is going to end”, Radda said.
Radda pointed out that “there is the fortunate side of the COVID-19 because many enterprises emerged especially in the area of information technology. “Also, there are a lot of MSMEs who came up with a lot of innovations of face masks and hand sanitisers and a lot of other businesses.”
The DG urged MSMEs to apply and benefit from the COVID-19 funds rolled out by the federal government. Beneficiares will enjoy one year moratorium while the interest rate is 5% per annum.