Mr Eke Ubiji, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), has lauded the proposal of CBN to take education certificates of promoters of startups as collaterals to access loans.
Ubiji told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday that inclusion of startups in the revised Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF) Guidelines would reduce the level of unemployment among the youths.
The CBN launched the MSMEDF with seed capital of N220 billion on August 15, 2013 to bridge the huge financing gap in the MSME sub-sector.
Initially only existing businesses had access to these loans, but the revised guidelines made provisions for Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) to fund startups with BVNs.
“Collateral for startups shall be educational certificates which may include; SSCE, National Diploma (ND), National Certificate of Education (NCE), National Business and Technical Examination Board (NABTEB).
“Others are Higher National Diploma (HND), University degree (NYSC Certificate if any) alongside guarantor,
“It is a positive development that will drive entrepreneurial zeal among many aspiring youths who are incapacitated from pursuing their dreams because of lack of funds.
“Due to limited revenue or high interest rate, most of these small scale operations are not sustainable in the long-term without additional funding.
“I believe that the high unemployment rate in the country coupled with complaints from SME operators necessitated the apex bank to review the guidelines for accessing the intervention fund,”he said.
ubaji urged startups to undergo intensive capacity building programmes with the aim of acquiring skills in accounting, managing human and material resources.
According to him, the training will instill in them the prerequisite skills to guarantee their survival in the business world.
Ubaji said that the CBN’s reviewed guidelines would translate to poverty alleviation, job creation, economic growth and development in the country.