Godwin Emefiele, Nigeria’s central bank governor said Thursday said that the fund put together by Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) under the Agribusiness/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) is already in excess of N26 billion and it is expected to hit N60 billion by June 2018.
This is coming as disbursements of the funds began in Abuja. The flag off saw the disbursement of about N118 million to 358 beneficiaries under the scheme which seeks to reasonably cut the present high unemployment rates in the country.
The beneficiaries are youths who have been trained on various entrepreneurship, vocational and management skills across the country by Entrepreneurship Development Institutions and Centres, such as Fate Foundation, Lagos Business School, House of Tara and Thrive Agric. The Bankers’ Committee had, at its meeting on February 9, 2017, came up with the AGSMEIS to improve access to affordable financing for MSMEs, particularly those operating in the informal sector of the economy and to support the Federal Government’s efforts and policy measures to promote sustainable economic development and employment generation.
As a commitment to the successful implementation of the Scheme, all deposit money banks voluntarily agreed to set aside and contribute 5 percent of their Profit After Tax (PAT) annually to finance eligible projects under the Scheme.
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Quoting data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Emefiele said the rate of unemployment in Nigeria worsened marginally during the third quarter of 2017, and that this raises concerns and risks for the collective peace and progress across the nation.
He noted that one of the most effective ways to tackle this scourge, is through entrepreneurship development and easy access to affordable financing, which according to him, has been a huge challenge to entrepreneurship
Frontpage September 26, 2019