How Buhari’s Government Has Benefitted Nigerian Business Owners
Muhammadu Buhari became President of Nigeria on May 29, 2015, and on February 23, 2019 he was re-elected for a second term, defeating the People’s Democratic Party opponent Atiku Abubakar. During his pre-election campaigns, he promised Nigerian that he would re-balance public finances and strengthen the country’s economy. As the candidate for the All Progressives Party, Buhari won the 2015 election on a platform of anti-corruption and improved security, while his 2019 re-election was the result of his “4+4” campaign, which focused on the foundation he had created in his first mandate in order to bring Nigeria to the “next level.”
In this article, my goal is to provide you with a few of some of the various programmes the Buhari-led administration has rolled out over time to benefit Nigerian business owners. Below are some of them.
- Market moni
MarketMoni is one of the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) created to provide financial aid for the under-banked and unbanked. This objective is being achieved by providing easy and quick loans at no interest rate besides a five per cent (5%) administrative fee. First, you must have a BVN to enjoy this FG programme and Next, you must belong to an accredited market association or cooperative registered in your state or with the CAC. Third, your association or cooperative must indicate its interest in MarketMoni by submitting its information to BOI including its certificate of registration. If your association or cooperative qualifies, a MarketMoni agent would be sent to your group promptly to capture your members for loan assessment. The Government Enterprise and Empowerment Program issues interest-free loans to market women and traders, artisans, youth and farmers. It is one of the social intervention programs of the Federal Government, and is being executed by the Bank of Industry. Beneficiaries receive loans ranging from N10,000 to N100,000 per applicant for as long as 6 months. MarketMoni attracts no interest except a one-time 5% administrative fee. The Federal Government said it believes in the inherent capacity of every Nigerian; young or old, literate or illiterate to contribute immensely to the country’s economy, and that is why the Federal Government is focused on economic empowerment of its people. The Federal Government claims it is set to identify with Nigerians working hard to keep their businesses afloat, and will continue to expand economic opportunity for every-day Nigerians.
- Trader moni
TraderMoni is a Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) Initiative created to boost the Nigerian economy through leverage and access to finance for petty traders. TraderMoni is designed to help petty traders expand their trade through the provision of collateral free loans of N10,000. The loans are repayable over a period of six months. Under the scheme, beneficiaries can get access to a higher facility ranging from N15,000 to N50,000 when they repay N10,000 within the stipulated time period. The Bank of Industry management software validates the loan application. The loan is paid within 48 hours to a mobile wallet account, that can then be cashed out. According to the federal government, you can start or grow your own business with the help of a government-backed Loan and free business support. A great alternative for individuals looking for business loans to fund their business.
- MSME survival fund
This fund is a conditional grant to support vulnerable MSMEs in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs in MSMEs from the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheme is estimated to save at least 1.3 million jobs across the country while targeting an average of 35,000 individuals per state. Under the scheme, which is under the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, millions of Nigerians would be impacted. The portal for the fund registration was opened for beneficiaries and became operational in September 21, 2020.
- Targeted Credit Facility for COVID-19
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduces a stimulus package to support households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic has led to unprecedented disruptions to global supply chains, sharp drop in global crude oil prices, turmoil in global stock and financial markets, massive cancellation of sporting and entertainment event, lockdown of large swaths movements of persons in many countries, and intercontinental travel bans/restrictions across critical air routes across the world. These outcomes have had severe consequences on households’ livelihoods and business activities, resulting from drop in global demand, declined consumer confidence and slowdown in production.
In this respect, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced the N50 billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) as a stimulus package to support households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Households: Households with verifiable evidence of livelihood adversely impacted by COVID-19
- Microenterprises: Existing enterprises with verifiable evidence of business activities adversely affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
- SMEs: Enterprises with bankable plans to take advantage of opportunities arising from the COVID-19 pandemic
Interest rate under the intervention is 5% p.a. (all inclusive) up to 28th February 2021 and thereafter, the interest on the facility will revert to 9% p.a. (all inclusive) as from 1st March 2021. Working capital will be for a maximum period of one year, with no option for rollover. Term loans have a maximum tenor of not more than 3 years with, at least, one-year moratorium.
Households can access a maximum of N3 million but the loan amount to SMEs shall be determined based on the activity, cashflow and industry/segment size of beneficiary, subject to a maximum of N25 million. Working capital shall be a maximum of 25% of the average of the previous 3 years’ annual turnover. (where the enterprise is not up to 3 years in operation, 25% of the previous year’s turnover will suffice).
- Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI)
The federal government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in conjunction with the Bankers’ Committee, developed a Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI) as part of its efforts to boost job creation among youth in Nigeria. CIFI cuts across different fields including fashion, information technology, and movies as well as music distribution and production. The initiative which was initially announced in May 2019 is aimed at improving access to long-term, low-cost financing for entrepreneurs and investors in the Nigerian creative and information technology industries. It is aimed at economic development, and will offer beneficiaries loans of up to ₦500 million with an interest rate of 9%.
- Student Software Development Loan
Under the information technology sub-sector, the CBN, through CIFI, is offering a “Student Software Development Loan” which will give software developers loans of ₦3 million for a period of three years, with a 9% interest rate. Applicants are expected to have university degrees and NYSC certificates. In addition, they should also have other requirements such as guarantors, good credit history, admission into training organizations with job placement contracts, among others. Since only a graduate can have a degree and NYSC certificate, it is safe to say that this section of CIFI is targeted at software developers who are university graduates. Having met the necessary requirements, the applicants can approach any bank with a business plan that states how much is needed for the proposed business. Sequentially, the bank will provide the applicants with documentation requirements needed to access the loans among other conditions. The CBN expects beneficiaries to repay their loans from software sales or patent usage.
The other schemes from the federal government that show how Buhari’s government has benefitted business people in Nigeria include, but not limited to, Guaranteed Offtake Schemes and the Free CAC registration for about 250,000 businesses nationwide.
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