Agency boosts MSMEs in Niger by 78,000
The Niger State Small, Medium Enterprises and Microfinance Agency (NSSMEMA), said it had increased the number of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) operating in the state from 376,000 to 454,000.
Mr Farouk Audi, Director General, NSSMEMA, said in Minna that the 2016 report of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) showed that there were 376,000 entrepreneurs in Niger state, out of the national figure of over 38 million.
“Today in Niger state the last report of 2020 has shown a significant increase of 78,000 MSMEs, making a total of 454,000 from the 376,000 in 2016,” he said.
He explained that the agency had outlined programmes, such as seminars, workshops, to mentor would be entrepreneurs in the state and also addressed the challenges of existing entrepreneurs to raise the number of MSMEs.
“In 2018, there was an MSME clinic jointly organized by the office of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and the state government, where inventories and catalogue of their problems and the way forward was discussed. This also added to where we are now,” he said.
The Director General said that the state government had also collaborated with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to access N2 billion in loans, to assist the MSMEs develop and sustain their businesses.
According to him, “a hundred per cent of the funds were disbursed to the MSMEs to improve the sub-sector.”
He said that 12,033 MSMEs in the state benefitted from the gesture, creating over 3,000 new jobs which cut across all sectors, from agriculture to manufacturing.
Audi added that the state was in third place nationwide, after Katsina and Osun states, in the area of meeting the criteria for loans and disbursements.
The director general expressed optimism that the beneficiaries would pay back, to enable others benefit because it was disbursed to the right people.
“I want to tell you that the beneficiaries have started repaying their loans, some have paid 100 per cent,” he said.
Audi also said that the agency had adopted a mentorship and apprenticeship programme, to mitigate the high mortality of MSMEs in the state.