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SMEDAN secures N5bn loan from Sterling Bank to support small businesses

SMEDAN secures N5bn loan from Sterling Bank to support small businesses
November 22
21:23 2023

The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has signed an agreement with Sterling Bank to provide a N5 billion loan facility for small businesses across the country.

The agency signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Wednesday in Abuja.

According to a statement by SMEDAN, the MoU was signed by Charles Odii, director-general of the agency, and Abubakar Suleiman, managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) of Sterling Bank.

According to the agency, this initiative marks a significant stride in fulfilling Odii’s commitment to fostering prosperity by facilitating the growth of small businesses through enhanced financial access.

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“The move is pivotal, considering the crucial role SMEs play in revitalizing the Nigerian economy, and it strongly aligns with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope agenda, which focuses on growth-oriented economic reforms and support,” SMEDAN said.

“It follows an agreement struck with the Anambra State government by the Odii-led SMEDAN to provide a N1 billion loan portfolio for small businesses in the state.”

Commenting on the development, the director-general assured of his plans to announce more partnerships with other state governments and private actors to enhance financial access to small businesses.

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“The N5 billion agreement with Sterling Bank represents a key demonstration and fulfilment of the pledge,” Odii said.

“It is 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.”

On his part, Suleiman said the partnership with SMEDAN was done to provide prompt access to finance for small businesses and guide them through a formalisation process crucial for sustainability and access to funds.

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“This includes record-keeping, separation of personal from business finances, and investment in competitive strategies to stand out and succeed,” he said.

According to the agency, to access the loan, businesses must register with SMEDAN and complete an application form by logging on to www.smedan.gov.ng/smedansterling, following which the bank will process the application for disbursement.

The agency said the disbursement will begin in two weeks, adding that repayment will commence after a minimum period of three months, thereby enabling small businesses to fully leverage the facility.

SMEDAN added that the opportunity is available nationwide to small businesses across all sectors, with loan options ranging from N250,000 to N2,500,000 and a duration period of 24 months.

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