NIPC Canvasses World Bank-MSME Project Extension in Nigeria

Bello made the call during the recent MSME Project Close-out Workshop in Abuja, adding that the
project has contributed positively to the nation’s economic growth and should be expanded to the 36
states of the federation.

His words: “Against the backdrop of the tremendous achievements of the project and to ensure the
sustainability of the recorded gains, I urge the federal government to, as a matter of urgency, extend the
lifespan of the MSME project and expand it to all 36 states of the federation.

“This is in line with the transformation agenda of the federal government, as it has the capacity to grow
the economy, create jobs and create wealth,” Bello added.

The MSME project, initiated in 2005, was piloted in Abia, Kaduna and Lagos to determine its
effectiveness in improving performances and employment levels of small scale enterprise in non-oil
sectors of the country.

He said the project aimed to achieve increased private sector investment for MSME development,
by demonstrating how a combination of investment climate reforms, improved access to finance and
business development services can transform the growth of MSMEs in Nigeria.

Unveiling its achievement within the past six years, Bello disclosed that: “The project has supported
the creation of five commercially oriented, privately financed microfinance institutions currently serving
over 1.2 million clients with about 48,000 borrowers in 2010. It has also supported 74 privately-owned
business development service institutions, which have served over 23,000 MSMEs.”

He said the project was able to develop a legal and regulatory framework for credit bureaus with support
from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), stressing that it has developed a draft for secured Lending Bill
and a web-based collateral registry system for movable assets.

The representative of the World Bank, Mr. Michael Wong, described the programme as a success,
saying it has supported the rice value-chain programme as well as increased better access to small
scale business financing.

He said government must have learnt from progress of the project even as he disclosed that the World
Bank may consider extending the project.
His words: “The project has reached out in the financial sector by assisting the creation of a series of

Micro finance banks. It has also helped the business environment by creating more access to finance
to ease cost of doing business, and helped the rice value chain, cat fish among others. From those
results, one will assume that more poor people will get involved and as a result of that it must have had
a positive effect on their income.”

“A lot of the projects were pilot and we have learned a lot from those pilots. If possible, we will like to
replicate and scale up those pilots in those states where they have actually worked”, Wong added.
He commended government’s effort in addressing unemployment. “Anything you do that creates more
jobs particularly for poor people and those living in rural areas, I think that will be great”, he said.

Author: nmmin

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