Senator representing Lagos East Senatorial District in the Senate, Sen. Tokunbo Abiru, has said that he would support 1000 trained Micro Small-Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) operators within the district with N100m soft business loan and asset finance for equipment acquisition at a subsidized interest rate of 6% with flexible repayment plan from 1 to 12 months.
Abiru made this known on Monday in Lagos at the opening ceremony of Lagos East MSMEs Clinic organized by his foundation, Tokunbo Abiru Constituency Team (TACT Foundation) in conjunction with The Fate Foundation.
The Senator explained that the loan scheme would kick off in first quarter of 2022, adding that the scheme would run for the duration of his tenure.
The former Banker turned politician said that he took time to fully comprehend challenges and needs of MSMEs to articulate efficient strategies, saying he deemed it fit to invite notable business aides to 1000 MSMEs in Lagos East.
“This programme will further equip businesses like yours with prerequisite business information, and connect you with certified and approved government/private sector consultants at the expense of my foundation to help address specific challenges in your businesses; like tax, legal and regulatory issues; funding advisory, and access to markets; digital technology, financial management and access to expert advice and cost-effective real time solutions to enterprise challenges particularly in this COVID-19 era and the resultant new normal”, said Abiru.
The Senator added ” Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) play a major role in most economies, particularly in developing countries. SMEs account for the majority of businesses worldwide and are important contributors to job creation and global economic development. They represent about 90% of businesses and more than 70% of employment worldwide. Formal SMEs contribute up to 40% of national income (GDP) in emerging economies. These numbers are significantly higher when informal SMEs are included. The latest SMEDAN/NBS MSME survey indicates Nigeria’s SMEs contribute nearly 50% of the country’s GDP and account for over 80% of tempting the country”.
“It has been projected by the World Bank that about 600 million jobs will be needed by 2030 to absorb the growing global workforce, which makes SME development a high priority for many governments around the world. In emerging markets, most formal jobs are generated by SMEs, which create 7 out of 10 jobs”, said Abiru.
Also speaking, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Bank Of Industry (BOI), Kayode Pitan, acknowledged that many MSMEs were killed by COVID-19 months ago, saying that the Lagos East MSME Clinic would help bring back the youths to work.
Pitan added that knowledge acquisition by the MSMEs operators is important for their businesses to grow, assuring the Senator of BOI’s support on the soft business loan.
Part of those who spoke at the event were; Chairman, Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS), Ayodele Subair, Executive Secretary, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Teju Abisoye, and Executive Director, The Fate Foundation, Adenike Adeyemi.