The Vice President, Sen. Kashim Shettima has commended Access Bank for offering N30 billion discounted loans to 700,000 Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), in support of the Tinubu administration’s agenda for job creation and the growth of the MSME space.
Sen. Shettima who disclosed this Friday at a meeting with MSME stakeholders comprising key actors from the public and private sectors, at the Presidential Villa, added that the Access Bank loan scheme will commence as soon as possible.
“Every challenge, every problem is pregnant with opportunities for value addition and for repositioning of the society. I just met with the management of Access Bank, we had extensive discussions and they have offered to provide a N30 billion support to MSMEs focusing mostly on the youth and women as target beneficiaries. They are going to give these loans at 15% interest rate,” the Vice President announced.
The VP had earlier, in his office, met with a delegation from Access Bank led by its Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr Roosevelt Ogbonna.
Vice President Shettima acknowledged that though the challenges are daunting, Nigeria has the talents to overcome some of them, stressing that “in this room are the people that can bring about the changes we seek, be it in the agricultural value chain, the digital value chain and the manufacturing value chain.”
He urged the stakeholders to unite in order to overcome the common challenges confronting the country, noting that Nigeria is blessed with the human resources to address the projected global talent deficit.
“We can make this country work, with proper planning, zeal, commitment and leadership, this country can be repositioned. We have the platform to re-engineer this nation. The caliber of people present here today has rekindled my hope in the Nigerian dream,” the VP noted.
Yielding to the request of the stakeholders for the inauguration of the National Council on MSMEs, the Vice President directed the Special Adviser to the President on National Economic Council (NEC) to kickstart the processes for the inauguration of the Council and the sensitization of State governors to its functions.
Earlier, the Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Mr Charles Odii, on behalf of the stakeholders, thanked the Vice President for his leadership and zeal to ensure the transformation of the MSME space in Nigeria.
According to him, the stakeholders were keenly following the activities as well as interest shown by the VP in issues confronting MSMEs, and gave assurances that the stakeholders were “ready, willing, and committed to aligning to the vision of the Tinubu administration in the sector.”
He then requested the Vice President to pick a suitable date to inaugurate the National Council on MSMEs as part of a broad plan to galvanize robust support for the space.
In separate remarks, the chief executives of the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) and National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), spoke about their organisations’ contributions to the growth of the MSME sector and the administration’s job creation agenda.
They reassured the VP of their unwavering commitment and support, particularly in ensuring the actualization of the Tinubu administration’s economic diversification objectives.
The stakeholders were led to the meeting by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and MSMEs, Mr Temitola Adekunle-Johnson.