The Federal Government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), is offering agricultural businesses and SMEs in Nigeria loans worth millions of naira at a single-digit interest rate. This facility is part of the Agri-Business/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS), an initiative designed to boost the ventures at the lower end of the commercial scale.
Loans under this scheme will target ventures with the capacity to generate employment. They will be getting trained to manage their enterprises better, and given the financial assistance they require to raise their productivity levels so that they are able to contribute to the country’s economic growth.
Businesses that qualify for the loan will receive funding of up to ₦10 million, at an interest rate of 5% per annum.
Businesses Eligible for the AGSMEIS Loan
Enterprises can apply for an AGSMEIS loan if they operate in any of these industries:
Industrial and Manufacturing: Agricultural and allied processing; automobiles.
Art Industries: Fashion, beauty, textile, arts, and entertainment.
Information and Communication Technology: Telecommunications, media, and publishing.
Hospitality: Catering and events management.
Businesses are expected to have been trained at any of the CBN’s Entrepreneur Development Centers (EDS); these centers are located in Ibadan, Port Harcourt, Maiduguri, Kano, Makurdi, Enugu, Minna, and Lagos. The training will last for one week.
How to Apply for the AGSMEIS Loan
Upon completion of the training, persons interested in applying for the facility should do so through the EDC with which they have trained. Their training centers will inform them about the documents they need to secure the loan.
Next, the CBN will process their applications. If it is satisfied with their submission, they will be called up for an interview, which will be about the business they run. Businesses deemed to have qualified from this stage will receive funding from the CBN.
They will also be getting assistance from the institution to implement their business plan.
Funding, Tenure, and Repayment
Entrepreneurs who qualify can expect to receive their loans within 6 to 8 weeks from their initial application.
There is a maximum of 18 months’ moratorium on the loan principal, and 6 months on the interest rate repayment. The interest is repayable within 7 years from the beneficiary collecting the loan.
Loan Disbursement Thus Far
The AGSMEIS loans have been disbursed to numerous businesses across Nigeria. Thus far, a total of over ₦1.9 billion has been given out. The National Directorate of Employment has said that it expects 185,000 applicants to get the loans throughout the course of the program.
Click here to apply for the AGSMEIS loan.
Featured image source: Abiodun Borisade
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