The Federal Government, yesterday, said nine states had so far accessed the N220bn Small and Medium-scale Enterprises Fund floated by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, disclosed this to State House correspondents after the inaugural meeting of the National Council on SMEs presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo.
Aganga, however, refused to disclose the names of the states that had so far accessed the fund and the amount they got.
He said the vice president set up a small committee chaired by the Minister of National Planning to come out with clear guidelines and the terms of accessing the fund.
Governor Ibrahim Dankwabo of Gombe State also said 19 other states were at the stage of being ready to access the fund but without disclosing their names.
Aganga said, “The council noted the N220bn fund by the President. Council members wanted to know the update on the fund. The good news is that a percentage of it is devoted to training and development. The interest rate will not exceed nine per cent, while the greater percentage is devoted to women.
“Nine states have already accessed the fund. We want to make sure it is done in a good manner.”
The minister also said the council resolved to carry out more awareness on the fund.