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Ekiti SMEs Gets 1bn Loan Facility

The Ekiti State government will commence the disbursement of N1billion Central Bank (CBN) facility it guaranteed, to small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in the state from tomorrow (Thursday).

The state Commissioner for Commerce, Industries and Cooperatives, Mr Ayodele Michael, announced this on Tuesday at a one-day seminar organised by the Ekiti Area office of the Nigerian Shippers Council for exporters and sundry entrepreneurs.

The commissioner said part of measures to show government’s commitment, the government had partnered with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) towards the disbursement of the total sum of N2 billion for the SMEs, through accredited Micro-Finance Institutions at low interest rates for long term investments.

Michael pointed out in his keynote speech at the training that many entrepreneurs had already benefitted from the initial N500 million released for that purpose by the CBN, and hinted that several others would benefit from the second tranche of N1b that had just been released, on Thursday.

He said the state government was also set to boost the state’s economy through other means, order than monthly federal allocation generated from oil revenue.

He however regretted that Ekiti people were “too afraid to take risks because many of them fail to take advantages of facilities and leave them to more daring businessmen and entrepreneurs who are non-indigenes of the state.”

On the seminar with theme “The Importance of Port Economic Regulation and a tool for Port Efficiency and Cost Effectiveness in International Trade”, the Nigerian Shippers Council said although it was not a money-giving institution, it was out to present businessmen and exporters with information that would be useful to them when they had received such investible funds.

In a paper by the Director of Regulatory Services of Nigerian Shippers Council, Mrs I.A Ezedinma, presented by Mrs Juliana Saka assured the gathering that the NSC was now better empowered and repositioned to adequately regulate the ports sector, in a manner that exporters would get better rewarded for their sweat.

She pledged the council’s readiness to fully actualise the mandate giving to it by the federal government onwards making the nation’s Ports the Sub-Regional hub and Africas international logistic centre.

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