By Ahmed Ahmed
The Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Bauchi state chapter, has registered Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) for the Nigeria COVID-19 Action, Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) programme.
Our correspondent reports that the Nigeria COVID-19 Action, Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) programme is being supported by the World Bank to the tune of $750 million credit.
It was meant “to support the 36 states and FCT mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the livelihoods of poor and vulnerable households and micro-enterprises in the country”.
Alhaji Yelwaji Malia,Chairman of the Association stated this in an interview with our correspondent on Monday, in Bauchi.
He said the association successfully registered over 5000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to partake in the NG-CARES in the state.
“We registered SMEs across all the local government areas of the state, to benefit from the NG-CARES programme in the state.
“Apart from registration of NG-CARES, the association also registered for members in the state chapter.
“We want to re-invigorate the association’s chapter to come back to its full action and be vibrant,” he said, noting that SMEs were the engine of economic growth and development.
Malia urged the state government to provide the necessary infrastructure to support entrepreneurs.
He also explained that the high levels of unemployed youths were currently using their energy to solve activities that were detrimental to the society, like cybercrime, which had led to a high degree of insecurity.
Malia also stressed the need for the government to encourage the growth of entrepreneurship, particularly SMEs in the country, that were finding it difficult to access loanable capital.
“Most Nigerian banks don’t support start-ups and even existing businesses don’t have the required collateral.
“For SMEs that go to non-conventional banks, the high interest rate is always a burden,” he said
He appealed to governments to address the distribution of various grants by the Federal government, in view of the high interest loans of the Bank of Industry (BOI) and Bank of Agriculture, CBN SMEs Initiatives through the banks.