On Monday in Lagos, the Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI), Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), and the Association of Micro Entrepreneurs of Nigeria (AMEN) all appealed to the CBN to break the N220 Billion bailout fund for SMEs into smaller units to ensure easier access.

The associations said the majority of the SMEs, whom the fund is meant to benefit, could not access the loan because certain requirements such as Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) demanded by the CBN were too stringent.

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Chairman of the NASSI Lagos chapter, Mr. Segun Kuti-George, said most of the members of the association could not access the loans because meeting the collateral required by the apex bank was proving to be an uphill task.

Kuti-George also added that the CBN needed to reduce the requirements it demanded from the SME operators where too difficult and unrealistic for them to attain.

“It is good for the banks to ask us to produce collateral, but this is a call on the government to encourage the CBN to take more risks by further reducing the requirements.

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“I can say that only 20 per cent of the people who actually need this fund have had access to it. I say that because out of the small and medium operators, how many of them have Certificate of Occupancy? The most they have is machines or other tools,” he said.