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Buhari reserves 45% of SME fund for women

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to reserve 45 percent of the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF) for women.

At least five percent of the funds will go to other vulnerable groups.

The President, according to a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, gave the directive when he received national and international working groups of the Supporting Advancement of Gender Equity (SAGE) Initiative at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The MSMEDF is a CBN initiative launched on August 15, 2013, with a share capital of N220 billion.

It was established in recognition of the significant contributions of the MSME sub-sector to the economy and the existing huge financing gap in the sector.

President Buhari said he was committed to further easing access to credit for women in the country, and making space for them to assume more leadership positions.

READ ALSO: CBN stirs controversy with reversal of SME funding policy

He said: “We have also expanded our social intervention programs to further address the needs of the most vulnerable women in our society.”

Buhari noted that the education of the girl child and empowerment of mothers were fundamental to achieving an increase in the number of female leaders in the country and lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.

The President added: “At the commissioning of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs Headquarters Building in January 2020, I had pledged to address child marriage and boost girl-child education across the country.

“This is borne out of my concern about the increasing number of out-of-school children in the country. This government would sustain ongoing efforts to address this issue.”

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