The Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) has gone into an agreement with the National Economic Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND) for the funding of projects for its members.
A memorandum of understanding was signed at the NERFUND office to this effect this week between the managing director of NERFUND, Alhaji Baba Maina Gimba, and the national president of NASSI, Chief Chuku Wachuku.
Under the agreement, NASSI shall present projects which require funding to NERFUND, which shall evaluate same, disburse required funds and insure the transactions.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Wachuku lamented that given the enormity of demand for funds and the nation’s quest for development, there were too few development finance institutions (DFIs) in Nigeria.
“A country of 167 million people with some 59 million small scale industries, having only three fuctional DFIs? That is clearly inadequate, and I am calling for more DFIs,” Wachuku said.
He said, that NASSI would embark on a drive to get state governments make funds available to small scale industries. These funds would be domiciled with existing DFIs for on-lending after project evaluation, making sure that such funds did not get sunk, but would be cyclical, benefitting many SMIs. He said it was in the interest of the state governments to do so, as the benefits would accrue directly to the investing states.
Wachuku affirmed that NASSI had a great role in actualising President Jonathan’s agenda and that the agreement just signed was a sure step towards that.
“I’ve always said that President Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda must be private sector-led, and the institution to drive it in the private sector is NASSI. And we cannot do it without specialised financial institutions.”