How to Benefit From CBN N60 Billion SME Schemes For Nigerian Youths

The Federal Executive Council has granted its consent for the disbursement of N60 billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria via the Agric Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme to boost small business growth, particularly among young entrepreneurs nationwide.

This is contained in a statement by the Minister of Youth, Jamila Ibrahim, on Monday following the conclusion of the fourth FEC meeting in Abuja on Monday.

The fund was established in 2020, which was initially amounted to N75 billion, with annual releases of N25 billion, has since been increased to 60 billion, designated for youth-led and youth-owned enterprises operating in priority sectors.

In this article, we provide information on the Agric Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme, including eligibility criteria, requirements, and how to apply, in order to help you take advantage of these benefits.

1) What is Agric Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS)?
The Agri-Business/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme is an initiative to support the Federal Government’s efforts and policy measures for the promotion of agricultural businesses and small/medium enterprises (SMEs) as vehicles for sustainable economic development and employment generation.

2) What are the objectives of the AGSMEIS?

To ensure access to finance for Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as these enterprises are the engine of growth of the Nigerian economy.
A) To generate much needed employment opportunities in Nigeria.
B) To develop agricultural value chain and ensure sustainable agricultural practices.
C) To boost the managerial capacity of agri-business SMEs as pipelines of growing enterprises that can become large corporate organisations.

3) Who is Eligible for the Funding?
To be eligible for funding under the scheme, a prospective investor shall:

A) Must comply with the provisions pf the companies and Allied Matters Act (1990) such as filling of annual returns, including audited financial statements
B) Must comply with all applicable tax laws and regulations and render regular turns to the appropriate authorities; and
C) Apply through a participating bank

4) Beneficiaries

Beneficiaries shall:

Ensure prudent utilisation of funds;
Keep up-to-date records on the companies’ activities under the scheme;
Make the companies’ books and structures available for inspection by the appropriate authorities (including banks and the CBN) when required;
Comply with guidelines of the Scheme; and
Provide monthly financial and operational reports to the SPV before the 15th of the next succeeding month.

5) Requirements for CBN Loan AGSMEIS Approval
The requirements are necessary either during the application or before the final approval of the CBN loan application and final disbursement of funds to an applicant.

A) Registered business with CAC
B) Certification by an EDI
D) Applicant’s Passport photo and a guarantor.
E) Valid I.D card

6) How to Apply for CBN’s AGSMEIS Loans

Training is the first step; interested people are required to take a course with an Entrepreneurship Development Institute that has been certified by NIRSAL MFB (EDI). You would receive a certificate for completing the program by attending a one (1) week mandatory training at the Oko-Oba Agege/EDI Centre of the Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture.

A) Applicants can apply for a loan online through the NIRSAL MFB’s portal after receiving training from the Entrepreneur Development Institute (EDI) in Lagos State and upload the received certificate of completion.

B) Once you visit NIRSAL MFB webpage ( click on AGSMEIS loan, then select Ministry of Agriculture as Entrepreneur Development Institute (EDI) to apply.
C) The applications will subsequently be forwarded to CBN for review. Applicants will be contacted for an interview about their business.
D) Those that meet the criteria will be contacted and awarded the loan.
E) Once the loan is granted, the monies will be transferred to the beneficiaries’ accounts. Candidates who are not qualified are provided comments.
E) Please note that the loan amount will be deposited into your NMFB account.

Also, the purchase of your equipment(s)/machinery will be handled by one of the NMFB’s certified Vendors, while the working capital will be available for withdrawal through your account upon meeting all terms and restrictions.