The Onitsha Chamber of Commerce on Sunday decried the inability of the Organised Private Sector, OPS, to access the Federal Government intervention fund for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSME.
The President of the chamber, Tim Anosike, expressed this concern in an interview in Onitsha.
“The OPS is still having difficulties in accessing the Federal Government’s N220b MSME fund,’’ Mr. Anosike said.
He said that the problems facing the sector include the complicated procedures in accessing the fund and lack of interest of many banks in the programme.
“The current N220 billion MSME Intervention fund by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, is a laudable initiative.
“This chamber believes that if the fund could be made available for the target groups, then the national economy must have received a significant boost at the end of the day; more so, as 60 per cent of it goes to women entrepreneurs but our fears remain those of complicated procedures,” he said.
According to him, the obvious lack of interest by many banks to be part of the exercise is due to the fact that the three per cent CBN approved interest rate for them is too small.
He, however, said the chamber had advised the CBN to guard against anything that could truncate this laudable objective, so that the MSMEs would get the lifeline.
Mr. Anosike urged the government to ensure the success of the initiative, so that budding entrepreneurs, especially millions of women, who engage in petty trading to sustain their families, could survive.