It’s no longer news that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been giving out loans to the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) lately. The main objective of writing this article is to give a headstart on how to access this great opportunity optimally and to create more awareness about the initiative.
The Agric-Business/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) is an initiative of the CBN in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee. This was approved during the committee’s 31st meeting held on 9th February, 2017. As part of their agreement, Nigerian Banks are mandated to set aside 5% of their annual Profit After Tax (PAT) for this great initiative. The money will be payable to the CBN after the Banks’ Annual General Meeting (AGM).
The main aim of this is to create numerous employment opportunities for the teeming populace, to enhance the growth of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), to support the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) which is the engine growth of the economy, and to develop the agricultural value chains, amongst others.
The loan covers for productions, processing, logistics and also for agricultural storage purposes. Agro start-ups firms, existing and ailing companies are all qualified to apply for this loan.
It is also worthy to note that the loan covers other Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) such as; the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Industry, Health, Education, the Creative Industry, Manufacturing/Production, Mining Industry, amongst other Services.
For an applicant to access this loan, the person must be trained by an approved Entrepreneurship Development Institution (EDI) center. The EDIs centers are spread all through the six Nigerian geopolitical zones. The applicant ought to locate the one closest to him/her for one-week intensive training aftermath the applicant will write and submit a business case proposal to the center for the business that he/she wants to embark on. The center will then forward the business proposal to the CBN for considerations and approval or rejection.
The requirements to access this loan include; the applicant must be a Nigerian, must be up to18 years of age and have a personal Bank account in which the fund will be disbursed after approval. Others include; Business registration by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), BVN, a well written Letter of Introduction, the recent passport of you and your guarantor, valid National ID card, evidence of Tax payment, and evidence of certification by an EDI center.
The Letter of Introduction is to be written by a Pastor, LGA Chairman, MD of a Bluechip company, Level 14 Senior Civil Servant, Cheif Imam, Village Head, or a CDA Chairman. Guarantor’s letter is to be written by the applicant’s spouse or buddy.
The CBN loan’s tenor is seven years at an interest rate of 5%. The maximum principal of the loan is N10M while its Moratorium is 18 months. The Entrepreneurship Development Center also guide and assist the applicant all through the loan application.