• Friday, June 14, 2024
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SMEDAN, Sterling Bank partner on N5bn loans for SMEs

SMEDAN, Sterling Bank partner on N5bn loans for SMEs

The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, known as SMEDAN, has partnered with Sterling Bank to offer a loan facility worth up to N5 billion to small businesses in Nigeria.

The loan, which has a single-digit interest rate of nine percent aims to support Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the country.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by Charles Odii, the director-general of SMEDAN, and Abubakar Suleiman, the managing director/CEO of Sterling Bank on Wednesday, at the SMEDAN office in Idu, Abuja.

According to a statement by Peter Adeshina, the special adviser on media and public relations to SMEDAN DG, for small businesses to access this loan, they must register with SMEDAN and complete an application form through the provided URL as the loan opportunity is available nationwide across all business sectors, with options ranging from N250,000 to N2,500,000.

Odii noted that the partnership follows an agreement between SMEDAN and the Anambra State government to provide a N1 billion loan portfolio for small businesses in the state and they plan to announce more partnerships with other state governments and private actors to enhance finance access to small businesses.

Read also: Nigeria may need more loans to fund 2024 budget — Senate committee

Speaking at the signing event, Charles Odii described it as “an important milestone in our efforts to stimulate economic growth and drive prosperity by enhancing SME access to finance. We believe that the financial support, which comes at a very competitive rate, will help SMEs expand operations, hire additional employees, and contribute to an overall upswing in beneficial trade and economic activities,” he stated.

The N5 billion loan agreement with Sterling Bank has a duration of 24 months, and repayment will commence after a minimum of three months, giving small businesses ample time to leverage the facility. The application process through the provided URL has begun, and disbursement is expected to start in two weeks.

To access the loan, small businesses must register with SMEDAN and complete an application form by logging on to www.smedan.gov.ng/smedansterling, after which the bank will process the application for disbursement. The opportunity is available nationwide to small businesses across all sectors, with loan options ranging from N250,000 to N2,500,000.

Abubakar Suleiman, the MD of Sterling Bank, said the partnership with SMEDAN was created to provide prompt access to finance for small businesses and guide them through a formalisation process crucial for sustainability and access to funds. This includes record-keeping, separating personal from business finances, and investing in competitive strategies to stand out and succeed.

The initiative is a significant step in fulfilling Charles Odii’s commitment to facilitating the growth of small businesses by providing them with enhanced financial access. It is also aligned with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope agenda, which aims to support growth-oriented economic reforms.