07 Mar 2014 Just in time for International Women’s Day, the Central Bank of Nigeria has earmarked 132 billion naira, about 60% of its N220 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF) to women entrepreneurs in the country.

Ventures Africa tells us that this information was made public at a workshoporganised in Ilorin, Kwara State byBranch Controller, CBN Ilorin, MrOnoriodeOlotewo. He stated that “the specific objective is to reach over 2.0 million MSMEs over a 10-year period. In addition, 60 percent of the fund is targeted at women entrepreneurs.”

As at 2012, Nigeria had about 8 million MSMEs employing about 42.4 million people and contributing about 46.5 per cent of nominal GDP and The Central Bank of Nigeria launched the MSMEs fund in August 2013 to provide the much needed capital for that sub-sector of the economy with the view of channelling long-term, low-interest funds through participating financial institutions.

Mr Oletowo stated that Central Bank has developed operational guidelines for the State government’s participation in the MSME development fund with a view of reaching the peoples at the grassroots, adding that the MSME development fund has two broad objectives of performing both social and commercial functions.

According to him, the “social /development fund” will constitute 10 percent, while the “commercial fund” will constitute 90 percent of the fund.

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