Charles Odii, Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), stressed the significant hurdle faced by small enterprises: inadequate dissemination of government intervention program information hindering their access to funds.
Highlighting the challenge during the Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony with Sterling Bank, Odii emphasized the vital role of informing the right businesses about available funds, mentioning a case where nearly N500 million lay unutilized in a bank with only six beneficiaries due to poor information dissemination.
Addressing this, Odii announced the agency’s secured N5 billion loan portfolio aiming to assist over 10,000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across Nigeria. The collaboration with Sterling Bank aims to ease access to loans ranging from N250,000 to N2.5 million at a single-digit interest rate.
He emphasized the agency’s commitment to simplifying access to finance, acknowledging the scarcity and costliness of finance in the region. Odii revealed plans to start receiving loan applications within two weeks.
Abubakar Suleiman, Managing Director of Sterling Bank, reiterated their commitment, mentioning the absence of a collateral requirement for accessing the loan. He emphasized the provision of a two-year repayment window.
Suleiman highlighted the introduction of a technological platform named ‘Banker’ specifically tailored for small businesses. This platform streamlines access to financing, offers business organization tools, record-keeping support, and repayment assistance. Even if a business fails to meet funding standards, they’ll gain insights into improving their practices for future funding attempts.
According to SMEDAN, businesses can apply for funds ranging from #250,000 to #2,500,000 depending on the status of the business records. Once repayment is concluded such MSMEs are qualified to take a higher sum to support business growth or expansion.
Loan Applicants can fill out the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) Loan Application Form via