The Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has lamented the stringent conditions for accessing the N220 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) loans earmarked by the Federal Government.
Dr Dikko Umaru, the Director-General of SMEDAN, told newsmen in a meeting on Friday in Lagos, that only about N80 billion out of the N220 billion had been disbursed so far since 2012.
The agency according to him had been in talks with the CBN to further make it easier for more SMEs to access the funds.
“If we really want SMEs to access this fund, we need to relax the conditions.
“We urge the CBN to look into this, because most of our small businesses are barely struggling to survive.
“At SMEDAN, we can serve as referrals to the bank on behalf of the SMEs, because we know them inside out.
“We also need a lot of collaboration with other relevant agencies and we hope to delegate duties to increase the ease of doing business in the country.
“Many of the SMEs have already been ladened by regulatory conditions, taxes and poor infrastructure.
“So, as stakeholders, we should device a means of lending more support to them,’’ the SMEDAN boss said.
Dr. Umaru decried the poor state of infrastructure by the agency’s training facilities which included low working capacity at the state offices and inadequate manpower to meet up the demands of SMEs.
He also suggested that SMEDAN “is entitled to a certain percentage of the taxes levied on imported luxury goods’’, as a means to independently generate funds. This according to him, will enable the agency generate more funds to augment government’s allocation in order to perform better. For a better performance.