Aniefiok Umoren, the zonal coordinator of the South-South and South-East Development Finance Activities, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says the apex bank is “packaging” small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to reduce unemployment in the country.
Mr Umoren, who disclosed this in a meeting organised in collaboration with the Cross River government and the Chamber of Commerce in Calabar on Thursday, added that the activities of SMEs could also enhance economic growth.
He explained that the meeting became necessary for entrepreneurs to know the importance CBN placed on presenting them advantageously to ensure they contributed significantly to the nation’s economy.
“We are aware that the micro-entrepreneurs in the state have the greatest role of creating employment and adding value to the economy of the state,” noted Mr Umoren. “So, CBN is taking the bull by the horn by packaging entrepreneurs so that they can add something robust to the Nigerian economy.”
He pointed out that “everything follows due process because we want to ensure that the right people are getting these funds” by preparing their business plan that “we will be carefully scrutinised.”
Mr Umoren further stated that “we have to know who you are, the type of business you do, how profitable it is and whether you will be able to pay back the loan as we encourage people who get these loans to pay back” so others can benefit.
The coordinator noted that due to the COVID-19 pandemic currently ravaging the world, the interest rate for loans was five per cent under the apex body’s intervention.