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‘Only 6% of industrialists access Nigerian intervention funds’

Only six per cent of industrialists in Nigeria has been able to access the various intervention funds created by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), according to a survey by the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), in collaboration with the NGO Enhancing Nigerian Advocacy for a Better Environment (ENABLE).

The private Guardian newspaper reported Wednesday that the intervention funds were the 200 billion naira Small and Medium Guarantee Schemes, the 200 billion naira Refinancing and Restructuring Facility, Commercial Agriculture Credit Guarantee Scheme, Power and Airline Intervention Initiative and Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System Agricultural Lending.

The survey revealed that of the 358 respondents, 62 businesses, representing 17 per cent, attempted to access the funds, but only six per cent was able to access them.

It said 81 per cent of the respondents that attempted to access the funds indicated it was difficult to access.

Presenting the survey report to stakeholders in the commercial city of Lagos on Tuesday, at a one-day bi-annual dialogue on “Impact of Government Intervention Funds in the transformation of the Nigerian economy,” the Chief Executive Officer of ENABLE, Olanrewaju Olaitan, said the survey was conducted throughout the six geo-political zones of the country.

“The top three reasons for unsuccessful applications in descending order are cumbersome application process, not meeting requirements and financial constraints, which bother on collateral, interest rates and contribution,” the survey noted.

It added that 33 per cent of the respondents does not know about the funds; 17 per cent complained about the cumbersome process of accessing it; 15 per cent does not have faith on the fund; nine per cent lacks collateral while eight per cent complained about not having a specific fund for their sector.

Based on the responses, the survey recommended that funds should be channeled to sectors with high potential for productivity.

According to the survey, “more money should be allocated to existing funds while new funds are created for other sectors considered relevant. Government should focus on the development of agriculture, small and medium enterprises, manufacturing, power, education, health, entertainment, transportation and security”.

It said there was need to create more awareness of available funds, including detailed information on requirement, and suggested that the proposed tenure of intervention funds should be between one and 10 years.

“Funds should be disbursed through appropriate channels such as registered associations, co-operatives and unions. Government should do more to manage funds efficiently,” it said.


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