The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Anambra State government to support the growth of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the state with N1billion in a matching fund arrangement.
BusinessDay gathered that the MoU signed on Friday in Anambra State. underscored SMEDAN Director-General Charles Odii’s commitment to fulfilling his pledge to ensure SMEs have access to vital funding across Nigeria.
Since his appointment last month, Odii has been actively engaging with bank executives and other key players in the financial sector to advocate for affordable credit options for SMEs, including single-digit loans.
Commending the Anambra State government for their commitment, Odii said: “This level of meaningful support is what we expect from state governments nationwide, given the established importance of SMEs in driving economic development and prosperity.
“Small businesses are the backbone of employment and contribute nearly half of our GDP. If we intend to jumpstart the economy, we must invest in them and provide substantial support for their growth.”
Odii further assured that SMEDAN, under his leadership, was exploring both domestic and international opportunities to mobilise and channel funds to SMEs across the country. He emphasized that this approach would accelerate the realisation of the President’s Renewed Hope Agenda, which is centered on economic prosperity.
“We have initiated discussions with several local and international organisations to address funding and capacity development for SMEs. Just this week, we launched the SMEDAN Climate and Green Energy Desk (SCGED) to support climate entrepreneurs in addressing environmental challenges hindering SME growth in the nation. We are witnessing strong interest from global stakeholders eager to back local initiatives combating climate change and unlocking fresh economic opportunities,” DG Odii explained.
In addition, he stressed that the agency would ensure that the funds, once accessible to SMEs, would be disbursed in a timely, transparent, and equitable manner, eliminating any obstacle preventing deserving SMEs from accessing these vital funds.
“This MoU is a significant development for SMEs in Anambra State, as it will provide them with access to much-needed funding to support their growth and expansion. It is also a testament to the Anambra State government’s commitment to supporting the development of the private sector and creating jobs for its citizens,” he said.