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SMEDAN begins disbursement of N5bn loans to SMEs

SMEDAN begins disbursement of N5bn loans to SMEs
May 14
19:58 2024

The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) says small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have started accessing the N5 billion single-digit interest rate loan it secured from Sterling Bank.

However, SMEDAN said some SMEs are facing hurdles in meeting the bank’s eligibility criteria, and support is being offered to help overcome these challenges.

According to Charles Odii, director-general of SMEDAN on Tuesday, he met Abubakar Suleiman, Sterling Bank’s managing director, on Monday to address the issues.

Odii said the bank attributed the difficulties to issues with formalisation and other factors affecting eligibility.

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“Yesterday, I met with Sterling Bank MD/CEO, and other officials to discuss the SMEDAN-Sterling loan program, which offers ₦5 billion to small businesses at a single-digit interest rate to increase access to finance,” he posted on X.

“While disbursements have been made and are ongoing, I raised concerns we received about the application process and difficulties some have faced in reaching the disbursement stage. 

“The bank explained issues with formalization and other factors that prevented some businesses from meeting their eligibility criteria.

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“We agreed on an action plan to address this, including continuous updates to the digital platform for a seamless experience, support for applicants who failed the eligibility test to address the responsible factors, and providing clear answers to applicants’ questions online or at bank branches.

“Our shared goal remains to support small businesses and ensure the loan opportunity is fully maximised for business growth.”

Odii said the agency will contact successful applicants to monitor their progress and offer tailored support to ensure the opportunity is fully leveraged.

On November 22, SMEDAN signed an agreement with Sterling Bank to provide N5 billion loan facility to small businesses across the country.

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