The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) in partnership with Sterling Bank Plc has started a matching fund programme for agro-based Nano, Micro and Small Enterprises (NMSEs). This is contained in a statement signed by the Head of Corporate Affairs Division of the agency, Ibrahim Mohamed. The statement reels out that, Director-General of SMEDAN, Olawale Fasanya says the intervention is to deliver credit to the sub-sector in six selected states of Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Ebonyi, Ekiti and Osun.
According to Fasanya, the programme is a promotional mechanism to enhance enterprise output, competitiveness and job creation and the disbursing entity, under the programme shall be Sterling Bank Plc. He identified Nano, MSMEs operating in the real sector with value-added agricultural products as the target beneficiaries for the programme. Fasanya says the prospective beneficiaries may apply for financing within the range of N500,000 and N2.5 million. “The interest rate applicable on all financing under this programme shall not exceed single digit per annum.
“The financing tenor is for a maximum period of 30 months effective from the date first disbursement. This is inclusive of moratorium which may vary between three to six months depending on the type of enterprise,’’ Fasanya said. He further said that applicants or enterprises wishing to apply must be within the agribusiness value chain. “The applicant/enterprise must have a Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) registration or state approved registration and a movable asset to be registered under the National Collateral Registry (NCR),’’ he said.
Fasanya added that NMSEs can apply by clicking the icon smedan/sterlingbankmatchingfundprogramme on the SMEDAN website (www.smedan.gov.ng). According to him, once migrated to the smecredits portal, pre-qualification of applicants shall commence. “Pre-qualified applicants shall be required to pay a processing fee of N10, 000 for the business plan template on the platform. A separate training fee is not required,’’.