THE federal ministry of industry, trade and investment has disbursed N1 billion to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, in the country. Olusegun Aganga, minister of trade and investment, said the N1 billion special credit line, through the National Enterprise Development Programme, NEDEP, for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperatives is to further demonstrate the commitment of the current administration to developing enterprises at the grassroots in order to create jobs, enhance growth and ultimately reduce poverty.
He said the NEDEP provided the necessary platform for the sustainable ongoing funding of micro enterprises, adding that the disbursement of the N1billion loan to MSMEs in Lagos, was part of the ongoing MSME funding across the 36 states of the federation and would be in phases. Aganga who spoke in Lagos, while awarding cheques to the beneficiaries of the first N100 million special credit line, said the NEDEP is an initiative spearheaded by the federal ministry of industry, trade and investment and its three parastatals, the Bank of Industry, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria and the Industrial Training Fund.
He said the ministry, through SMEDAN had established approximately 3,800 cooperatives in Lagos State, noting that about 2,000 of these cooperatives would benefit from the special credit facility. The beneficiaries were drawn from all the local governments in the state and cut across various activities, including manufacturing, agribusiness, retail trade and electrical works among others. The loans are given at single digit interest rates to the beneficiaries who also receive some form of training and skills development.
He said the National Council on MSME was working extensively with the CBN to ensure that the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund reached the intended beneficiaries in all the states of the federation. The ministry is also working with micro finance banks and commercial banks to increase overall access to the fund.
Recently, the federal government launched the first Nigerian Business Development Services Network to ensure effective and productive performance of MSMEs in Nigeria. The N39.6 billion ($200m) project, is a network of private sector business development service providers that will work with MSMEs across the country to mentor them, provide support services and link them up with financial institutions.
Speaking during the launch of the NBDS and the unveiling of the National Business Development Services Market Place in Abuja, Aganga said that the new initiative marked another milestone in the current administration’s determination to reposition the MSME sector as the major driver of inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Nigeria. “Today marks another milestone in the development of the MSME sector in the country. Over the course of this administration, we have championed the course of MSMEs and we have made them the centre of economic policy; we have treated them as a distinct sector and we have developed policies and programmes to enable them grow and contribute significantly to GDP growth. Today, we are launching the Nigerian Business Development Services Network, a network of private sector business development service providers that will work with MSMEs across the country to mentor them, provide support services and enable linkages with financial institutions,” he said.
NCC Appeals Court Verdict
THE Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has appealed the judgement of Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos, on the ruling that it violated the rights of the All Progressive Congress, APC. Paul Usoro, counsellor to the NCC, had filed a motion for stay of execution of judgement.
Usoro filed a notice of preliminary objection of March 2, challenging the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, Lagos, to entertain the suit on the grounds that the suit disclosed no cause of action against NCC and that the APC’s claims and reliefs are alien to the provision of chapter iv of the 1999 constitution, were ignored by the judge.
He said the stay of execution of the judgement and injunction are necessary pending the appeal. The stay of execution of judgement was aimed to arrest and stop the colossal damages granted by the Federal High Court in favour of APC.
According to Usoro, it is primarily to prevent APC from going ahead with executing or complying with the judgement pending the appeal filed by the commission. “The injunction pending appeal will restrain the APC and indeed other respondents in the suit from implementing or enforcing or giving effect, howsoever, to the orders of the court as contained in the judgement, pending the determination of the appeal filed by the NCC,” he said.
The appeal is on eight solid grounds, which include that: The judge erred in law when he dismissed the appellant’s notice of preliminary objection of March 2, which challenged the competence of the suit on the grounds that it was unmeritorious; the judge erred in law when he said the suit of the APC disclosed cause of action; the trial court misdirected itself in law and fact when it held that the suit fell under the context of chapter iv of the Nigerian constitution, of 1999 as amended; the trial court erred in law and occasioned grave miscarriage of justice and the trial judge erred in law when he held that the appellant has indeed discriminated against APC. The learned trial judge misdirected itself in law and on facts when it awarded N500 million damages and compensation for APC. The judgement is against the weight of evidence and submissions before the trial court, among others.
The judge had dismissed NCC’s preliminary objection on the grounds that the suit was indeed a fundamental human right suit and disclosed a cause of action against the Commission. He therefore awarded damages of N500 million in favour of the APC.
— Apr. 13, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT