The United States has extended its support to 18,000 small businesses in Nigeria to boost economic development and entrepreneurship.
A statement said with an investment of $244m, the initiative would impact the local business landscape, ushering in a new era of growth and opportunity.
The United States government, through the US Agency for International Development, celebrated the achievements of the five-year “Feed the Future Nigeria Agribusiness Investment activity,” on October 10.
It stated that, “The $15.7m agribusiness investment activity assisted more than 18,000 small businesses, also known as micro, small, and medium enterprises, in seven states – Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Kebbi, and Niger.
“The initiative mobilised more than N188bn ($244m) in agricultural investment, thereby providing access to finance, and bolstering their businesses.
“The MSMEs are now able to expand business operations for increased food production, specifically for aquaculture, cowpea, maize, rice, and soybean.”
Agriculture accounted for a substantial part of Nigeria’s economy and 35 per cent of Nigeria’s workforce is employed in the sector, according to the statement.
It said the Nigerian agriculture had economic potential if the high cost of doing business, limited access to finance and investment, and high regulatory barriers could be addressed.
USAID/Nigeria Economic Growth and Environment Office Director, Michelle Corzine, said, “We have seen remarkable improvements in the agricultural sector, and it is essential that public and private-sector actors continue to collaborate to ensure that we continue to improve the business environment for Nigeria’s farmers.”