Farmers benefit from CBN AB program

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says 3.8 million farmers have so far benefited from its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).

Mr Yila Yusuf, Director, Development Finance Department of the apex bank, made this known in an interview with newsmen on Friday in Abuja.

READ ALSO: What Nigeria must do for more diaspora investment

Yusuf said N554.61 billion had been disbursed through the programme since inception in 2015.

He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for taking the initiative to start the programme.

He said the programme had done a lot to help farmers improve their yields and generate employment.

“We have to commend President Buhari for putting the ABP in place. Over 3.8 million farmers have so far benefited from the programme.

“The multiplier effect on the economy is huge.

“The ABP has helped farmers improve their yields. For maize we now do five metric tonnes per hectare and for rice we’re improving from four metric tonnes to 10 metric tonnes per hectare.

“We will be trying out some Brazilian seeds that we will give to the anchors and their association,” he said.

He said the CBN was making efforts to keep prices stable and to ensure food security.

He said the programme had contributed to food sufficiency during the global lockdown occasioned by COVID-19.

“Apart from jobs that have been created, there is also productivity, which is important to CBN.

“We also look at how we can keep prices stable because food security is very important.

“A lot of countries went into protectionist mood due to COVID-19, if we did not have this programme we would be in serious trouble,” he said.

The director said the CBN was taking steps to make staple foods like rice affordable to the masses.

“We are guaranteeing a minimum support price for the farmers. We allocate rice to the mills and we follow up; the price is already reacting.

“You can get it for around N19,000 now, and you can be sure that the rice is fresh and it is healthy,” he said.

He said the programme was also going into a Strategic Maize Programme to stabilise the price of maize.

“We realised that the prices of maize are continuously increasing.

“What we have done is to guarantee all the output from the anchor and put it into the strategic programme and release to the millers.


Enugu SME

SME Sensitization Tour’ at Osisatech Enugu

Representatives from the @Enugu SME Center (@enugusmeagency) and VFDbank ( @vbankng) paid a visit to the Osisatech Polytechnic on Thursday, 25th February 2021, where they spoke to the students at the Schools’ Auditorium about various opportunities being created for students in Enugu by the Enugu SME Center

READ ALSO: Do Startups Need Venture Capital Investment?

These opportunities includes access to Student loans such as the ongoing ‘Enugu SME Studentpreneur Loans’, and various Human Capital Development Programs being organised by the Enugu SME Center .

For the first time in history, Students that own small businesses in every Higher institution within the state can now apply for business loans under the Studentpreneur Loans at (link in bio)

READ ALSO: NBS, SMEDAN, to Confirm Number of MSMEs in Nigeria

Importantly, we also appreciate the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Enugu Chapter, for their dogged participation in facilitating a hitch-free student relationship for this project.

If you are a student of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), don’t miss this opportunity to learn how you can get loans to run your business while in school, and how to participate in our Human Capital Development Programs.

Be available at Prof. Julius Onah Auditorium, Agbani
by 12pm, today (Thursday, 4th March 2021) as representatives from the Enugu SME Centre and VFDbank will be there to teach you how to apply for SME Studentpreneur Loans at

If you know somebody that knows somebody in ESUT, please tag them👏🏾

The SME Studentpreneur Loans is brought to you by the Enugu State Government.


PMI: SMEs report rises as PMI swings to positive

Nigeria’s manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a gauge for manufacturing sentiments, moved back into positive territory in February 2021 after recovering from 44.5 in January to 53.0 points, according to data by FBN Quest and NOI.

READ ALSO: Business owners recount tales one year after COVID

The index had declined sharply from 55.0 in December 2020 to 44.5 in January.

“The good recovery was driven by medium-sized and small firms,” analysts at FBN Quest said. PMI

READ ALSO: Risks facing Africa requires urgent IMF special fund

“Among their positive responses, we note an improvement in demand; a full month’s production (whereas many firms resumed late in January after the holidays); and an easing of COVID-related restrictions.”

Manufacturers in Nigeria are beginning to see increased demand for their goods as the economy gradually turns the corner on a brutal pandemic last year.

The economy exited recession in the fourth quarter of 2020 after two-quarters of successive declines even though there was a contraction of 1.92 percent for the full year.

PMI, unlike the national accounts, are forward-looking indicators. They can move financial markets, at least in advanced economies and the large emerging markets.

Nigeria’s manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a gauge for manufacturing sentiments, moved back into positive territory in February 2021


Investment Optimism

Optimism rises for investment in Nigeria

Seyi Fadipe, a chief executive officer in one of Nigeria’s leading investment financial advisory firms, was dismayed after receiving a call from one of his foreign clients.

The client gave her a sorry call, informing her to put on hold an ongoing investment deal, as he and his entourage will not be able to fly into Nigeria for proper inspection due to the imposition of restriction measures in his country, which restricted the movement flow of persons, goods and capital.

READ ALSO: Business owners recount tales one year after COVID

The deal was a multi-million-dollar investment in a local agricultural producing firm in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria, which Fadipe had been on since 2019, hoping to bolster her firm’s balance sheet and reward shareholders when it finally fell through in 2020.

“The suspended deal disrupted our business operations last year,” she told BusinessDay.

Whether it was the fear of contracting the virus, or the pandemic-induced global lockdown, business leaders, and fund managers had a fair share of the unprecedented year 2020, not just in Nigeria alone, but across the globe.

Total foreign inflows (direct investments + portfolio investments + other investment) into Nigeria plunged to $9.7 billion in 2020, the lowest in three years, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics. And the huge collapse is not unconnected with the elevated risk in the global investment environment occasioned by the pandemic.

READ ALSO: World Bank: Nigeria’s road to economic recovery

“The COVID-19 pandemic had several far-reaching effects on Nigeria’s investment landscape,” according to Toyin Sanni, an investment expert and CEO of Emerging Africa Capital.

Some of these, Sanni noted, include a reduction in disposable income, resulting in reduced demand for investment instruments, and a loss of jobs due to massive layoffs.

“Others include rising food inflation due to supply chain disruptions, among other factors, increased taxes on VAT from 5 percent to 7.5 percent during the year, and the decline in yields following the implementation of expansionary monetary policies by central banks across the world including Nigeria,” Sanni said.

Ijeoma Agboti, managing director/CEO, FBNQuest Fund, told BusinessDay that at the initial stages of COVID-19, investors were generally inclined to avoid aggressive new investment activity and took a wait-and-hold approach. “This, coupled with a dip in interest rates, was followed by a flight to yield and renewed interest in diversification and alternative approaches,” she said.

But it was not just about the coronavirus induced-lockdown alone, a host of factors including Nigeria’s poor FX management made an already bad situation worse.

Africa’s biggest economy resorted to rationing dollar sales after the pandemic and an oil war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, two of the world’s biggest oil exporters, sent prices tanking to as low as $12 per barrel.

Being that oil accounts for a significant share of Nigeria’s dollar revenue, the fall in oil prices squeezed dollar inflows, sending Nigeria’s external reserve to as low as $33 billion, and limited the central bank’s intervention capacity in the currency market.

The naira ran into troubled waters last year, suffering a two-time 19 percent devaluation, with rates weakening to N379/$ at the official window and N383/$ at the I&E window, which further eroded investors’ wealth.

It was undoubtedly a difficult time for foreign investors, importers and manufacturers. A large number of portfolio investors were unable to access the greenback as they sought to repatriate their profit out; while manufacturers found it increasingly difficult to obtain dollars for critical inputs.

The aforementioned scenario alongside negative real interest rates following spiralling commodity prices sent a red flag to the investing public and scared fresh capital from coming, particularly hot money.

NBS data show that not one single foreigner invested in Nigeria’s bond between April and December 2020.

Although Africa’s biggest economy recorded a handful of foreign participation in equities and other money market instruments to the tune of $755.12 million and $4.2 billion in 2020, respectively, the combined amount was the lowest since 2016, and they were funds from maturing bonds, rolled into these assets.


Oil Demand

Oil demand to reach 100m barrels a day in four years

Read Also: Nigeria Gasp for new LNG Investments

Oil demand is expected to take two to four years to return to 2019 levels, depending on the duration of lockdowns and the pace of GDP recovery, forecasts by McKinsey and Company, a leading management consultancy firm, shows.

“Based on our Global Energy Perspective reference-case demand insights, current OPEC+ intervention will be sufficient to help balance the market in 2021, with prices remaining at a sustained level of $50 to $55/bbl through to 2025,” the analysts said in a report.

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total oil production averaged more than 100.61 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2019.

OPEC said it expected global oil demand in 2021 to increase by 5.9 million barrels per day year over year to average 95.9 million bpd.

The report said that if GDP growth recovers faster than expected, the world may see a near-term price increase at more than $55/bbl.

However, if demand recovers slower than expected or if OPEC+ stops cutting output, prices could be depressed or highly volatile for the next three to four years.

Crude oil demand has partially recovered since April 2020 but still ended the year approximately 9 million barrels per day (MMb/d) below the 2019 level, with continued COVID-19-related lockdown measures in January 2021 keeping it around 6 MMb/d lower than January 2019.

Supply remained robust until April 2020 and then dropped by 13 to 14 MMb/d in May, driven by OPEC+1 cuts and shut-ins (that have mostly returned to the market), thus showing the willingness of OPEC+ to continue interventions.


Fidelity MSMEs

Fidelity’s commitment to drive MSMEs through capacity building.

Fidelity Bank Plc, has reaffirmed its commitment to enhancing the productivity and prosperity of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country by providing capacity building and advisory services, innovative funding options and other forms of relevant support that would significantly improve their overall contributions to national development.

READ ALSO: Enugu govt. launches loan scheme for entrepreneurs

Fidelity CEO, Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe gave the assurance at the Fidelity SME National Capacity Building Webinar organized by the bank for entrepreneurs in Enugu State, in collaboration with the Enugu State Ministry of Trade and Commerce and the Enugu SME Centre; Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN); Nigeria Association of Small & Medium Enterprises (NASME) and Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA).

The webinar which will take place across the country on a state-by-state basis, is part of concerted efforts to assist entrepreneurs across all sectors of the Nigerian economy develop requisite capacity to unlock their full potentials and take their businesses to the next level of growth.

Mrs. Onyeali-Ikpe who during her remarks on Wednesday provided insights into the bank’s unique approach to managing MSMEs, pointed out that SMEs which are businesses with less than N100m annual turnover contribute about 48 percent of national GDP, account for 96 percent of businesses and 84 percent of employment in Nigeria.

She noted that despite the significant contribution of SMEs to the Nigerian economy, challenges still persist that hinder the growth and development of the sector. Chief among these are funding, lack of infrastructure, poor management, low entrepreneurial skills, improper planning, poor digital skills, etc. The Fidelity CEO however noted that the webinar seeks to proffer appropriate solutions to these challenges in a very practicable manner.

“We have a dedicated SME Desk with innovative products and services to assist your business. Fidelity Bank, in partnership with various private and public institutions provides funding, business advisory services for all our customers. This webinar is an excellent opportunity to network, share information and deepen the SME sector in Enugu State,” she explained.

Themed “Funding and Financial Management,” the Enugu Edition had in attendance special guests including Mrs. Monica Ugwuanyi, First Lady, Enugu State, Sir Robert O. Anwatu, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Roban Stores, and Mr. Chiedozie Atuegwu, Director, Michelle Laboratories Limited, amongst others.

In her remarks, Mrs. Ugwuanyi applauded the bank for its unrelenting support for MSMEs in Enugu State, stating that the Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi-led administration remained at the forefront of SME development in Nigeria as exemplified by its continuous investments in infrastructure deployment and provision of labor policy frameworks to further encourage investments.

Speaking in the same vein, President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) (ABCON) Dr. Aminu Gwadabe commended the bank for its sustained efforts at promoting MSMEs nationwide. Gwadabe noted that the bank had been very supportive to its 5,000 licensed members nationwide.

“The Bureau De Change (BDC) does about N1.4trillion per annum. Fidelity Bank controls 60 percent of these transactions in the country,” he explained.

Whilst shedding light on the dynamics of the Bureau De Change sector, Dr, Gwadabe revealed that exchange rate stability was determined by the country’s SME structure. Given the immense potentials inherent in the nation’s MSME space, he said that the fledgling sector, if properly positioned, could assist the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) achieve its mandate on exchange rate stability.

SOURCE: Nigerian News Direct

Enugu Government Loan Entrepreneursrs

Enugu govt. launches loan scheme for entrepreneurs

The administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, through the state’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Center, has launched a loan scheme for entrepreneurs in the state, known as “Enugu SMEs Micro-Credit Lending Programme”.

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According to the Special Adviser to the Governor on SMEs Development, Hon Arinze Chilo-Offiah, the programme was created to give entrepreneurs in the state an opportunity to access a maximum Enugu loan of three hundred thousand naira (N300,000) with 9% yearly interest (0.75% monthly), to grow their various businesses.

Chilo-Offiah who explained that the loan has a tenor of 12 months, added that applicants will enjoy a one-month moratorium. Disclosing that: “Terms and conditions apply”, the Special Adviser asked all interested candidates to “visit: or come to the Enugu SMEs Center- No. 2a, Market Garden Avenue opposite SMEs Roundabout along with Ebeano Tunnel, GRA Enugu state”, to apply. The Enugu SMEs Center has been in the vanguard of promoting and assisting entrepreneurs in the state to actualize their dreams of creating jobs and becoming self-reliant, through innovations and dedication.



Fegho Umunubo, Arinze Chilo-Offiah, Dolapo Adejuyigbe To Speak at BusinessDay, NetPlusDotCom Webinar

Fegho Umunubo, CEO of XTREME Mindz Solutions Ltd; Arinze Chilo-Offiah, Special Adviser to the Governor of Enugu State on SME Development and Investment Promotion and Dolapo Adejuyigbe, Co-Founder of Traction, will be speaking at the February edition of the Monthly SME Digital Transformation Webinar Series themed “Revamping your business processes in the digital era” by BusinessDay and NetPlusDotCom. The virtual event will hold on Thursday February 25, 2021 from 10:00am – 11:30am.

See also: Raising stake in SMEs financing, growth in Nigeria

This monthly series is organized by BusinessDay Media, West Africa’s leading provider of business intelligence and information and NetPlusDotCom, a leading technology and digital payment company.
The aim is to create an avenue for SME’s in search for expert information on navigating the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic to learn the modalities of the new age of doing business. It also offers a connecting platform for participants to meet with organizations that can facilitate access to market, finance and digital skills.

To register for this event, please visit

SOURCE:Business Day


Raising stake in SMEs financing, growth in Nigeria

From unemployment reduction to its contribution to government revenue, the benefits of a well-developed Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector can never be over emphasized. Given their contributions, nations have set out plans to develop the MSMEs sector to achieve economic growth.
In high-income countries, MSMEs contribute well over 65 per cent of employment and about 48 per cent to the GDP, while in low-income countries; they contribute to about 30 per cent of employment and about 15 per cent of GDP.
READ ALSO: How Rwanda plans to enhance SME corporate governance

MSMEs have been generally acknowledged as the backbone to the success of developed nations, gaining popularity through the success rates in such developed economies that invested in the sector.
There also exists a relationship between the informal sector, MSMEs and economic development. In low-income countries, the contribution from the informal sector is rather high, unlike high-income countries where the contribution from the informal sector is low.

This gives room for the development of the informal sector, to reduce the gap between the formal and informal sector and allow the poor to actively participate in the economy
For the Nation to be among the 20 most economically advanced nations in the world by the year 2020, serious attention must be paid to the development of the MSMEs sub-sector in Nigeria
The contributions of MSMEs to the economic growth of countries have been very significant. SMEs are viewed as an engine of growth that contributes enormously to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) employment generation, industrial output poverty alleviation, export promotion, and self-independence
In Nigeria, despite the fact MSMEs has been identified as a tool for economic development and provision of employment, variety of challenges seems to have a negative impact that constraint MSMEs from playing the vital role of stimulating economic development.
To this effect, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s most valuable bank brand has over the years demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the business success of SMEs in Nigeria.
At the just concluded Ehingbeti, the Lagos Economic Summit, the Group Chief Executive Officer of First Bank, Adesola Adeduntan said the bank has a cocktail of products and bespoke solutions, specifically designed to help grow and sustain SMEs; enable them play out their business activities as well as fulfill their goals and aspirations.

In addition, the bank offers advisory services that are tailored to meet the needs and aspirations of their SME customers.
He said the bank is enthusiastic about the SME segment as one of the strategic platforms to stimulate economic development.
“We have SME CONNECT portal which serves as a advisory services platform to help them up their skills, supporting them to make accurate decisions and a number of banks have similar support system. We refine and update the portal. Our SMEs portfolio is quite sizeable considering Nigeria’s population.
“Our support for relevant businesses helps us come far especially the SMEs. We have been active in providing various financing instruments. The path to growth and development of the Nigerian economy is growing the SMEs segment,” he said
With a bouquet of bespoke products and services, First Bank is set to place SMEs ahead of their competition through collaborations with the business owners to provide flexible and dependable services, helping each SME fulfill life time dreams for their businesses.

Source: Newscentric


P&G, FMITI, BoI, others empowers SMEs at the 2021 P&G – BoI SME Academy

Vice President Osinbajo, Minister Adebayo, industry leaders provided insights and training during the virtual event.

Lagos, Nigeria. February 2021: Leading consumer goods company in Nigeria, P&G, in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment (FMITI) and the Bank of Industry (BoI), provided access to trainings for over 700 SMEs during the 2021 P&G – BoI SME Academy. The first day and launch of the Academy took place on the 12th of February 2021.

READ ALSO: How the Nigerian Market can Support MSME Financing

The plenary session themed ‘SME Development and Growth as a Precursor to Nation Building’ brought senior government and private sector leaders to discuss proven strategies that can be leveraged to drive the growth and development of local SMEs as the bedrock of Nigeria’s economic development.

In his keynote address, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, stated that,  “The Federal Government believes wholeheartedly that SMEs are the bedrock of the economy and we are constantly aiming to support innovations that can help SMEs grow and in turn groom the economy and provide job opportunities. The government has been working diligently and creatively on engaging the most vulnerable businesses especially during this current crisis. We thank P&G and BoI for this proactive initiative designed to ensure a better Nigeria”.

Also, the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo reiterated the need to create a favorable business environment for SMEs in Nigeria: “The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment is committed to providing SMEs the required support and trainings needed to consistently project their businesses in an upward trajectory. We achieve this through information-driven support vital in building a better playing field for commerce in the entire nation. We are grateful to organizations like Procter & Gamble for their continuous efforts towards transforming their communities of operations through proactive projects like the SME Academy”.

In his remarks, the Managing Director, P&G Nigeria, Mr. Adil Farhat highlighted the need to continuously support SMEs in Nigeria as they have the potential of outrightly transform the country. Mr. Farhat added that “in line with the focus of Nigeria’s economic recovery and growth plan to drive industrialization and economic growth through globally competitive SMEs, P&G in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Trade, industry and investment and the Bank of Industry launched the SME Academy to improve their standard, ensure longevity, and facilitate integration into global value chains. For over 27 years in Nigeria, P&G has consistently partnered with the Nigerian government to promote strong investor policies and practices that drive inclusive growth, jobs, and welfare of Nigerian citizens”.

Furthermore, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Bank of Industry, Mr. Olukayode Pitan, in his presentation reiterated the importance of the SME Academy especially during this challenging economic situation across the globe. “The maiden edition was held in October 2019. This second edition and first virtual event has been expanded to incorporate structured trainings. This initiative has become particularly important in this era of the covid-19 pandemic and current global economic challenges, which has left many SME businesses struggling to survive now. The Bank of Industry remains committed to transforming Nigeria’s economic sector through funding, strategic partnerships and strengthening of our technology and operations”.

This year’s SME Academy also featured key stakeholders in the industry including Ms. Yewande Sadiku, the Executive Secretary/CEO of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission; Mrs. Bola Adesola, the Senior Vice Chairman for Africa at Standard Chartered Bank; Mrs. Tara Fela-Durotoye, the CEO of House of Tara International; and other experts on procurement, investment facilitation, and access to finance.

Over the years, P&G has maintained a significant manufacturing investment in Nigeria with their plants in Lagos and Ibadan and general offices in Lagos. The organization’s operations generate over 4,000 direct and indirect jobs and create over 300 SMEs with sustained training programs. The people are its greatest assets with over 95% local employees and 50% female representation at managerial levels.

Source: The Sun