Entrepreneurs set to commence operations at the Edo Production Centre, will have access to favourable financing options such as Single-Digit Interest Loans.

The financing would be done through the CBN’s NIRSAL National Microfinance Bank. Also, it would complement other incentives for industrial production at the facility.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele disclosed this during a visit to the Centre along Sapele Road-axis of Benin City, Edo State. Also, Emefiele commended the Governor of Edo state, Godwin Obaseki, for his vision in setting up the facility.

The Hub is described as a cluster for Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state. Hence, MSMEs will enjoy 24-hour electricity supply, share resources and other business support services aimed at boosting productivity.

The cluster is to be set up in the three Senatorial Districts of the state.

According to Emefiele, the biggest challenges faced by SMEs include access to finance and a conducive environment with constant electricity supply for uninterrupted production. Consequently, with this production Centre, Governor Obaseki has provided a solution to these problems.

Emefiele said, “For us at the CBN, this facility makes it easy for us to have a place to meet people who are ready to do business. As CBN, we are trying to deal with issues of access to finance and this place provides an opportunity.”

Obaseki, on the other hand, said “We set up this hub to help us achieve our aim of creating a minimum of 200,000 jobs during the first four years in office in the civil service. We are not expected to give out the jobs in the civil service. Rather, we would create most of them in the private sector. Therefore, we are providing opportunities for industrialisation.”

“We are providing 24-hour electricity to ensure profitability, as we have eliminated initial setup cost. These are costs such as cost for electricity, security, water, among others,” Obaseki added.

Obaseki assured the CBN governor that the Production Centre will be commissioned by the second week of June. By then, the facility will be ready for business. He said “about 200 applications from small business owners showing interest to own spaces at the hub have been received.”

On plans to expand access to financing, Emefiele said “We have set up over 20 centres for the National Micro Finance Bank (NMFB) across the country. And I am sure Edo State will have a share.”

Emefiele added that entrepreneurs, who wish to benefit from the bank, would enjoy single-digit interest loans. He said “If you are given a loan with about nine percent and you are getting constant electricity, your cost of production will certainly be low and you can compete effectively. Also, you can employ others and hence, grow the economy.”