Enugu State Government in collaboration with the Bank of Industry (BOI) has launched a N1 billion Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) intervention fund.
Speaking at the launch of the fund and presentation of cheques, Managing Director, BOI, Ms Evelyn Oputu, who was represented by the South/East Regional Manager, BOI, Mr. Balarabe Hassan, disclosed that the Governor of Enugu state, Sullivan Chime has approved a contribution of N500 million which has been equally matched in like sum by BOI towards the establishment of the fund.
â€ The uniqueness of this partnership from other matching funds we have had so far, is the contributions from the local government councils which would guarantee financial inclusion of all those in the local government areas of the state. The pool of funds shall be provided as loans to entrepreneurs in the stateâ€ she stated.
She said the strategy adopted in the administration of the fund is to target those projects that will convert the mainly agrarian and solid minerals comparative advantage of the state into competitive advantage, adding that, as at today, BOI has granted loan facilities of N2.329 billion in Enugu state to Micro, Small, Medium and Large enterprises outside the BOI-ENSG MSME fund, which are all mainly engaged in processing and manufacturing activities.
Oputu urged the state government to offer fee waivers to entrepreneurs in the state that intend to access financial assistance from the Bank of Industry, as this would reduce the cost of legal documentation and also accelerate the disbursement of the economy loan facilities.
â€The government should also endeavor to put the necessary infrastructure in place that would create an enabling environment for entrepreneurs in the state. One way of doing this is to organize them into clusters and establish mini-cluster parks with common facilities. This would drastically reduce the cost of doing business for the entrepreneursâ€ she said.
The Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Enugu state, Dr. Jude Akubuilo, said Governor Sullivan Chime has done his part, by the establishment of the fund, saying it is now up to the SMEs across the state to key into the programme, tap into this fund to boost their growth, expansion and job creation.